H. James Harrington is a famous author of over 35 acclaimed management books, and is considered an authority on measuring performance quality in the business realm. He famously believes that:
Believe it or not, the same principle applies to networking. It’s possible to measure its results by assessing the value you get from your networking and assessing how it adds to your net worth. Here are 6 Key Questions to ask yourself when assessing your network’s value:
- Connections – when it comes to networking, quality trumps quantity. Have your connections led to actual opportunities for your business or are they simply added to a list of LinkedIn connections gathering online dust?
- Financial R.O.I – Has a contact you made through networking (or as a result of networking) led to actual work in sales/use of your services for your business.
- Time R.O.I – Sometimes a networking contact passes on information or reveals a process to you that doesn’t create a sale but instead shows you a better way to do something. Has a networking contact helped you to save time this way by improving your efficiency and turnaround time? Alternatively, are you getting a great ROI for the time you are investing in your networking?
- Knowledge Gain – when networking with contacts who have acted as business peers, you can often get valuable mentorship advice. Has a contact ever provided you with information you could use to grow your business? A tip that they do in there business, a new way to do something, an idea that’s sparks your next marketing campaign?
- Expertise Elevation – Has a contact ever provided your clients with a solution to a problem you couldn’t directly solve yourself?
- Value Adding Ability – Has a contact ever provided your clients with a service or product that could support them further?
By asking yourself these deceptively simple questions you can begin to measure how beneficial networking is to your business– even if it doesn’t directly contribute to your ROI.