|After you get past that first hill|
things get exciting.
There I said it. It's the dirty little secret of the word-of-mouth world. If we are looking for a quick fix in the level of business we receive, this is not the path for us.
Networking is work. We must make the initial connections, develop the relationships through coffees and lunches, provide value to those in our network through referrals, introductions, and recommendations, and finally be willing to state clearly what we are trying to achieve so our connection/ambassador/advocate/friend, can begin to look out for our best interests.
We can toil at this for years. Then, if we have been diligent in our service to others, suddenly everything changes. It's like we were on the first hill of the roller coaster and we just hit the peak. Everything after that is almost effortless. We've hit the tipping point in our networking. We've developed enough relationships that the number of people who are looking out for us is to the point that, by simple word of mouth, our business continues to grow.
Of course, we still need to tend to the connections, but for some reason it's no longer a task. Perhaps it's just that we have become so skilled at the networking practice that it feels like fun. Maybe it's that we no longer feel that stress to produce results in order to put food on the table. Whatever the reason, reaching this point in our networking is a nice place to be.
Then we just have to figure out what to do with all the extra business we'll be seeing.
Photo credit: Frederik Bloemen