Over the last few months, we have been producing and delivering education slots at a local networking event, designed to help others get more from their networking and grow their business. Most of the presentations have been between three and five minutes in length, and all of them have been original presentations, or variations of presentations given by business coaches.
Many of these education slots have been filmed so we can share them on social media, and a recent slot we gave has proved particularly popular with members of other groups wanting to give the same education slot at their meetings.
In the presentation, we talk about time, and how every day you’re given 86,400 seconds to do with as you see fit. You can spend them on whatever you want but, once the day is over, if you have not used those seconds wisely, you will lose them. You don’t get them back. You can’t bank them. You can’t carry them over.
Any you haven’t have made good use of are gone forever.
This means you need to ensure you make the best use of your time by leveraging it. This is where business networking and, in particular, relationship building come into their own.
Most people look at networking as something that takes a lot of time, and a lot of commitment. To attend a BNI, for example, you need to go every week and you need spend time in between the meetings doing activities such as 121s (one-on-one meetings where you speak with a fellow member), attending training events and looking for business for other members. This all takes time, and many people criticise BNI for this because they don’t have the time to spend on it.
This is where many people fail to understand networking. It’s not about spending ‘more’ time doing things, it’s about spending less time. Networking, and relationship building especially, is about leveraging your time to make better use of it so you can spend more time doing the things you really want to be doing.
For example, if you spend an hour having a 121 with a fellow member, you’re not wasting an hour of your time meeting with someone just because it’s what the rules of the networking group require. You’re spending your time very wisely educating someone on how they can help you grow your business. You’re giving them the tools they need to find business for you. You’re teaching them about your business so they know how to help you, so they know what you’re looking for and so they know who you would like introductions to.
You’re leveraging your hour so someone else is able to spend their time helping you.
If you still see that as a waste of your time then networking, and BNI, is not for you.
The presentation goes on to explain how the time you spend at a BNI meeting isn’t wasted time as you’re meeting with members of your sales force. The other BNI members are the ones who will find you the business you need. They will make the introductions you need. What you say in your 60 Seconds is probably the most important minute you will have that day, as it allows you to leverage 60 seconds into, potentially, thousands of seconds of other people’s time working for you.
That is the essence of time leverage.
So don’t think of networking as something that takes up time. It’s not something that wastes time. It’s not something that’s difficult to commit to on a regular basis and it does not interfere with your working week.
Networking, when done properly, saves you time. Remember though, it’s not about speaking with more people and handing out loads of business cards, it’s about building relationships with the right people, the people who will help you.
It’s your time. Don’t waste it!