Published on September 2nd, 2014 | by Donna Messer


ABC’s of Networking

By Donna Messer

I’m always looking for ways to enhance business opportunities and in keeping with the Women with Vision fall theme let’s focus on the ABC’ of networking…

The A is for ACHIEVE. To accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. In networking this means we follow a systematic process that can produce measurable results.

Below is the action plan to achieve those goals.

  • Start with a vision – What would you like accomplish?
  • Next give yourself a mission statement, when and what do you want to accomplish?
  • Follow up with an objective, use the SMART acronym, specific, measurable, accountable, realistic and time bound.
  • Move on to the strategy – how will you accomplish what you’ve envisioned?
  • Finally what plan will you put into place to make that vision work?
  • The results of your simple action plan will provide the solutions you need to accomplish your goals. Remember, Goals are just dreams with a destination!

The B is for BELIEVE – To have integrity and to look for others who share a similar vision. Believe in yourself and others; find common ground. This is an important part of business building.

Be systematic and focused. Be upfront on the ROI you expect from your networking. Give to Get.

Ethical networking is building business that is often based on perception; we perceive that because we network is a specific way, others will do the same. We need to learn to become more aware of why people network. Some network to sell, some to build relationships, while others network to for alliances and joint ventures. Decide where your best fit may be.

The C is for CLARIFY – to free from confusion; to be understood; to become clear. When you network, you need to state clearly and concisely who you are, what you need and what you can share.

Use a 30 second infomercial. Ask open ended questions. Listen to responses. Share resources.

Clarification is a one of the first rules of networking. Never assume, clarify the information you need as well as what you can share with others. Ask questions that will enable you to make wise decisions. People like people who are like themselves, try building rapport using common interests, associations, and industries.

Susan Baka7 Steps to Good Networking

  • Be prepared – have plenty of business cards
  • Be open minded – have a We not Me attitude
  • Don’t be afraid to ask – but “give to get”
  • Build your network wisely, use social capital
  • Say Thank You – in writing!
  • Don’t waste your resources – use the Internet
  • Set realistic & achievable goals –be accountable

Donna Messer
Networking Expert, International Speaker

About the Author

Donna Messer

1937 - 2015. "Speaker", "journalist", "author", "coach", "trainer", "advisor", "facilitator", "mentor" and "leader" are all words that describe Donna Messer to a tee. Look closer, however, and you’ll see that a common theme runs through them all – a love of people. For more than two decades, Donna has been a renowned expert on and promoter of the often overlooked, true currency of business – personal relationships – how to forge, nurture and leverage them to enable those who properly cultivate these relationships to put them to mutual benefit.

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