#1 Skill for the 21st Century (Part 3 of 3)
By Darren Hardy
We’ve established how critically important learning to effectively network your way to key relationships will be to your future (Part 1).
I gave you the most important principle in endearing yourself to those key relationships (Part 2).
Now, I don’t want to wrap up this series without leaving you with a plan of action and a road map you can use to dramatically expand the reach and depth of your networking results.
Admittedly, the practice and discipline of consistent networking is something I had to work on. I get a chance to meet lots of people… important people… and people I really like and enjoy, but after our initial encounter, life and business tends gets in the way and I look up and a couple months have gone by and I have not kept in touch.
I made a plan to remedy this. I organized my relationships into four categories of 25-30 people each. On Sunday when planning my week, I block out 3 chunks of time where I will stop what I am doing and reach out to those contacts and find ways to make deposits into our relationship account. No agenda, besides the thrill of making deposits and watching my relationship equity grow.
The 3-15-5-1 Plan
Because I am trying to run an entire enterprise and often travelling, the networking program I have created is a per week objective of 3-15-5-1. Theses are meetings and conversations OUTSIDE of my normal business interactions. These are contacts solely for my no agenda driven networking… besides the agenda to give and deposit that is.
3 In-person meetings: Taking a page from Keith Ferrazzi’s book Never Eat Alone, these 3 face-to-face get-togethers are usually over breakfast, lunch, dinner or coffee.
15 written communications: Via email or even touches on Facebook or comments on their blog or handwritten communications.
5 phone calls: Direct, just keep-in-touch phone calls.
1 gift: That is where I send a gift to at least one person a week. This might be a book I think they would really benefit from based on what they were talking about. It could even be something for their kids, their assistant, their spouse or even their parents based on what came up in our conversation. I have well-worn accounts on Amazon, Red Envelope, Personalization Mall, The SUCCESS Store, Neiman Marcus, Horchow and others. I carve out a certain percentage of my budget for gift giving and do it unexpectedly throughout the year. I don’t send Christmas gifts, when everyone is giving gifts; I do it when it has particular meaning and purpose—a gift that I feel like giving, from the heart, not because of social norms or expectations.
Then I TRACK these numbers in my Living Your Best Year Ever Weekly Rhythm Register. Each day I measure my proactive networking contacts and at the end of the week my goal is to have them be 3-15-5-1 or better.
My recommendation for you is to pick your networking plan and numbers and track them daily. It is the only way you will keep an awareness on the key behaviors needed to grow, expand and deepen your important relationships, thus your relationship wealth which is the key to your financial and personal wealth.
What’s your networking plan? Share your thoughts, ideas and strategies in the comments below.