The True Value of Your Relationships
We all network. We hold events, we go to events, and we are introduced to Mark through Mary, who also knows Janice and Steve, who serve on the same board as Gerry. We leave with a big stack of business cards from people we later try to place in the Rolodex of our minds. Why do we do this? Because we understand that face-to-face interaction is valuable, and we know that relationships are valuable.
Whatever you want to do, you usually can when you know the right person. As researchers and fundraisers, business developers and investors, we don’t want to know the right person, we want to know all the right people.
Though, rightly, we focus a lot of time on our current constituency, we need to also be leveraging those current relationships to reap their full value. We know that individuals are interconnected, and through at least one right introduction, we could find an amazing, new business relationship, a lost alumni, or a new board member. Don’t leave that up to chance. Networking is a proactive exercise.
Tapping into the Network
Relationship Mapping allows you to view the full range of your network. Your current network is probably more powerful than you think. When you map your constituency against your current prospects, you can find connections that you may never have realized otherwise. You can see those hard-to-reach prospects that have been particularly hard to engage, and you can find the mutual individual that connects you. When you’ve exhausted your tactics, you may find that all it takes is one networking call to make the introduction. Manage your time and your tactics by knowing your network.
Expanding the Network
Mapping your relationships gives you access not only to prospects that you know about, but also to entirely new networks. Once even one relationship is established, your network opens up, unlocking new connections that you can now access.
Take advantage of the true value of the relationships that you already have. We are proactive about our causes, our outreach, and our campaigns. Be proactive about your network, too.