Enterprise.ing Rewind: How to Create a Networking Routine

Hosted By

Alana Muller

CEO & Founder
Coffee Lunch Coffee

Episode Summary

In this special episode, host Alana Muller revisits advice from past guests Chris Ayoub (Ep. 8: Proactive Networking) and Taylor Mason (Ep. 9: Making Connections Outside of Your Network) related to developing a strategic plan for your networking efforts. Alana offers five tips to help you create a networking routine and habits that you can maintain over time.

“Be the one to take [action] and be the one to do the heavy lifting. That is, don't just ask, ‘would you like to get together?’ Instead, be specific. Ask whether they would like to meet and suggest at least one date, time and location.”



Alana Muller 00:10
Welcome to Enterprise.ing, a podcast from Enterprise Bank & Trust that's empowering business leaders one conversation at a time. Each week, we'll hear from top business professionals about lessons on leadership and entrepreneurship that they've learned along the way. I'm your host, Alana Muller, an entrepreneurial executive leader whose primary focus is to connect, inspire and empower community. We at Enterprise Bank & Trust thank you for tuning in to another episode.

Alana Muller 00:41
Hello, Enterprise.ing listeners. Welcome back to Enterprise.ing podcast. As we've done from time to time, rather than bring on a new guest, today's episode recalls some of the useful advice we've received from some of our previous guests on the program, and provides you with a few tactical tips for putting those recommendations to use.

Alana Muller 00:59
Today, I want to talk about being proactive and expanding the number of good solid relationships in our lives. I'm thinking back on some of our early interviews, specifically episodes eight and nine, which featured respectively Chris Ayoub, president of Real Manage, a company that specializes in homeowners and community association management for mixed-use high-rise and single family residences. And Taylor Mason, principal at David Mason and Associates, which engineers the foundations of communities by designing and assessing highways and bridges, buildings, sewers and tunnels, and electric and gas networks used by millions of Americans every day. Let's listen back to this clip from Chris, as he talked about the importance of having a personal account management plan.

Chris Ayoub 01:46
I think every successful individual — it's hard especially to get more success — you need your own personal account management plan. And that's kind of identifying some of the people that are influencers in your network, identifying networks that you want to try to break into. You've got to really know know who those folks are and you should be, whether it's a hey, it's a once, “I'm going to text this person once a month, just to say hi,” “I'm going to set up calls with this person once a quarter,” I'm going to, "oh yeah, we go to the same trade shows three times a year. I'm going to make it a point to meet with them at the trade show." So it's really, truly understanding where you want to go, and what your network is, and the networks you want to break into and putting a plan together on how you can effectively communicate.

Alana Muller 02:35
Without even realizing it, in the next episode, Taylor builds on what Chris was describing when he talked about the importance of looking outside one's immediate network. Let's listen to his comments.

Alana Muller 02:47
Personally speaking, as someone who's often asked how I've been able to build a career based on networking, I really appreciate it when I meet someone whose day job is fully reliant on relationship building like yourself. Can you talk a little bit about your work and how you engage in networking to effectively execute your responsibilities?

Taylor Mason 03:05
Yeah, I mean, I fit you know, we just kind of live by the fact that most people do business with folks that they like to chat with and want to trust. Life's too short to burn bridges. And, for me kind of building new ones every single day is really what kind of is the key to our success from a business perspective. I think it's really important that you continue to kind of look outside your immediate network and look on kind of the periphery. "Adjacently connected," I think is kind of a good way to look at it is trying to find people that, that have common goals for their own organizations, but just if you can just kind of stay connected with them. Whether it's directly related to your business or not, I think is just a really great way to kind of build a network overall.

Alana Muller 03:44
So, as I think back on the planning concepts that both Chris and Taylor pointed out, I consider these ideas building blocks of what I refer to as "networking hygiene." For me, when I think of hygiene, I usually think of personal care — shower regularly, brush your teeth, wash your hands, etc. And, while networking hygiene is certainly enhanced by proper body care, that's not what I'm talking about by this expression. Rather, just as my doctor would want me to routinize my sleep patterns or my sleep hygiene, it seems to me that routinizing networking patterns and habits also makes sense. Whether that is, as Chris describes, having a personal account management plan, or as Taylor shared, being adjacently connected to many people.

Alana Muller 04:29
I thought that I might share a few tactical thoughts with you today so that you can bolster your own networking hygiene. My first tip is to set networking goals and stick to them. By way of example, if you're determined to connect or reconnect with three people each week, be sure to make it happen. You can schedule coffee with a prospect on Monday, call an old friend on Wednesday, or you could meet up with a colleague for lunch on Thursday. That's three — mission accomplished for this week.

Alana Muller 04:58
My second tip is to maintain a running list of people you want to connect with. I always encourage my clients to keep two lists close at hand and to keep them updated. List number one is a list of people already in your relationship base who you want to reconnect with. It could be someone you see regularly at the gym, it could be a childhood neighbor — whoever it is with whom you want to nurture an ongoing relationship. List number two is a list of people you don't know, or you don't know well, but you would like to, you'd like to get to know them. And remember, the people on list number one can often help you to connect with the people on list number two.

Alana Muller 05:35
My third tip today is to reach out. Now that you have a goal and a list, start reaching out. This is the most difficult part of networking because it requires action. Be the one to take it and be the one to do the heavy lifting. That is, don't just ask, “would you like to get together?” Instead, be specific. Ask whether they would like to meet and suggest at least one date, time and location combination to begin the negotiation of scheduling the meetup.

Alana Muller 06:03
My fourth tip is to be generous. Networking is a team sport, it should be mutually beneficial and bidirectional in nature. Whether there is something specific you want from your contact or not, be ready to ask how you can be helpful to him or her and be prepared to deliver. Your follow through and show of support speaks volumes about who you are and your level of reliability.

Alana Muller 06:26
My fifth and final tip for today is to say thank you. That's right friends, do what your mama always told you to do and say thank you. When someone has given you their time, their information or resources, show them your support and appreciation. Not only is it polite and the right thing to do, but your contact will take notice of your sincerity and your appreciation.

Alana Muller 06:49
Listeners, that's what I have for you today. Thank you for tuning in once again to Enterprise.ing podcast. If you haven't heard them already, be sure to check out episode eight with Chris Ayoub on proactive networking, and episode nine featuring Taylor Mason on making connections outside of your network. They're both available at enterprisebank.com/podcast, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tunein, Spotify, or wherever you get your favorite podcasts. I look forward to connecting with you next time on Enterprise.ing podcast.

Alana Muller 07:24
Thanks for joining us this week on Enterprise.ing. Be sure to visit our website enterprisebank.com/podcast to subscribe so you'll never miss an episode. If you found value in today's program, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or telling a friend about us. Enterprise.ing, powering business leaders one conversation at a time.

Alana Muller 07:49
The views expressed by Enterprise.ing presenters or guests are those of the presenter or guest and not necessarily of Enterprise Bank & Trust or its affiliates. All content of this podcast and any related materials are for informational purposes only. Enterprise Bank & Trust does not make any warranty, expressed or implied, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, and specifically disclaims any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information presented. Enterprise Bank & Trust is not under any obligation to update or correct any information provided in this podcast. All statements and opinions are subject to change without notice.