Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How I Earned $75,000 from Networking

Ann Amati is a business consultant in the Seattle area. She’s got a great idea on how to convert her networking activities and connecting into dollars by making her marketing more tangible, predictable, and yes, enjoyable. Her story, in her words, is on Lori Richardson’s Web site.

A friend sent me the article. It reminded me of a tool I created for American Marketing Association members many years ago – and it still works great today. I call it the PVEP – the Personal Value Extraction Plan (you can download a copy of this Excel file from my LinkedIn Profile). It basically goes like this: You already attend many luncheons, seminars, workshops, networking events, and other meetings with the hope of scoring some qualified leads that will move your professional life forward. This tool helps you to identify what you’re getting for those efforts. I used it and found that I could track more than $75,000 in revenue to my business in just one year.
Now, don’t get me wrong on this important point. The PVEP tool is not going to make money for you. You still have to do the work of networking, shaking hands, research, follow up, and creating and delivering value to your business community. This tool simply helps you identify where those dollars can be tracked back to. That way you know if you should renew that membership or continue attending those luncheons. It’s also a great tool for sales people to share back with their managers to justify where they’re spending their time.
For the PVEP tool to be most effective, it’s good to also ensure you set goals and have a plan for your networking efforts. That means you don’t just go to the monthly luncheon for XYZ Association to hear the speaker – you go with a networking plan in place. How many contacts do you want to make? How many meaningful conversations do you think you might have? And, how will you track those contacts back to that event?
The tool is a simple form for a simple process – go places, make friends, create value, harvest rewards, pay it forward. I think this tool combined with Ann Amait’s 20 Nickels Plan will get you off to a great 2009!
-- David Kinard, PCM

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