Too often people tell me they don't have time for networking. Or they'll join a referral group only to leave before a year is up, believing they aren't getting anything out of it. Well, here is a great example of how it works.
Back in 2008 I introduced a business owner I know to another business owner. It was a referral that made a lot of sense to me. Wait, let me back up.
In the summer of 2008 I attended a COSE networking event at an Indian's game. There I met Stu. Stu owns a videography company. We had a great time getting to know each other and each other's businesses. The following week I attended the meeting of the referral group I was a member of. One of the group members is a woman, Barb, who owns a CD and DVD replication company.
Videography - CDs and DVDs - well it made a lot of sense for me to provide Barb with Stu's information. So I did. They met and started a business relationship. That was back in 2008.
Fastforward to today - early 2011. Barb called to tell me that she received an order from Stu. THREE YEARS LATER!
That's how it works! Sometimes the relationship takes time to develop. And timing really is everything. There has to be a need. Barb and Stu did the right thing. They maintained the relationship over time so that when there was a need, they already trusted each other.
So, if you're thinking that networking is quick, or that you should be going to an event and making a sale, think again. Relationships take time. Best to get started and keep it up, so that when the time is right, you'll be there.