The Networker #20: 30 Minute Weekly System to Engage Your Network
Today I’m introducing something brand spanking new.
A practical model and system I hope can truly help you become a smarter networker.
Consider it a 30 minute workout for your network.
You could call it, network-ing out…
That’s dreadful I know.
But I’d like to introduce you to you the ‘3-4-1 System’.
Of which you, a valued ‘Networker’, are the first I’m introducing this concept to.
So with that in mind, would value any feedback too.
Let’s dive in.
Don’t you find in certain conversations at networking events that the energy is great, the ideas are flowing, you’re excited to progress it after, but it just kinda’ fizzles out?
That’s because neither party has taken to following up properly.
And no, following up once after the event is not following up properly.
Life and business has got in the way. And you’re back to being busy again.
Reminder; the magic of networking happens between events.
And to become the person people think of when they think of what you do, you need to be front of mind.
To be there, this requires you putting in some effort.
The ‘3-4-1 System’ is a 30 minute block, once a week, that does that.
And can easily be added to your schedule.
Here’s how it works:
The 3-4-1 System
By way of a brief introduction, the 3, 4, and 1 in the system stand for:
- 3 months
- 4 weeks
- 1 week
And in short, during a 30 minute exercise, you’re going to review your networking activity from those timeframes.
Disclaimer: This method is assuming you have a post event follow up process in place that takes happens within 24 hours after the event.
If not, I wrote about where to start on this in edition #8.
To get started – open your calendar.
3️⃣ Scroll Back 3 Months
Many opportunities are left on the table following networking events because of tardy follow ups.
Or because it wasn’t the right time for either party.
3 months is enough time for things to change in life and business.
It’s time to reconnect and find out what’s been happening!
Action: Scroll back in your calendar to the same week 3 months prior.
Here you want to:
Review the events you went to that week
Who did you meet? Who did you follow up with?
Is there someone you haven’t been in touch with since the initial follow up?
- If not, send them a message or email to check in and say hi.
- Search them on LinkedIn – have they posted a recent update? An event they attended? A project worked on? An insightful post?
Reference that – show you care.
E.g. “Hi [NAME], resurfacing our chat after [EVENT] and saying hi! What are you working on at the minute? I noticed you did X recently, congratulations/looked great/tell me more.”
LinkedIn Tip: Go to their LinkedIn profile > Recent Activity > Show all activity. From here you can see what they’ve posted, reposted and commented on. Sometimes a comment is as insightful as a post so don’t ignore these.
- For those you did follow up with and continued speaking with – is there an opportunity or value in progressing that?
Then return to your current week, ready for the 4 in the 3-4-1 System.
4️⃣ Scroll Back 4 Weeks
Follow a similar process to 3 months here.
But this time it’s a case of keeping the conversation going if it isn’t still.
It’s time to check in.
Action: Scroll back 4 weeks from the current week.
- Review events attended and who you met
- Had you arranged that meeting you’d discussed? If not, reengage and reignite the conversation.
- Want to simply check in?
- Search them on LinkedIn – have they posted? Engage in their content, or use as conversation starter in a message.
- Drop them a message or email:
- Find out which event they are going to next.
- Let them know which event you’re going to.
- Find out what they’re working on.
- Ask what’s new since you last saw them.
Then return to your current week in your calendar, ready for the final part in the 3-4-1 System.
1️⃣ Scroll Back 1 Week
This is a little closer and fresher in your mind.
This keeps you accountable that you’ve actually followed up from the previous week and your networking activity.
Helping progress some of those conversations along with a little nudge.
Because it won’t be long until they are a fading memory.
If they aren’t already.
Action: Scroll back to the previous week.
- Where did you network? Who did you meet?
- Review events or meetings – were there any actions or follow ups needed? Did any event or meeting follow ups slip through the net?
- Send follow up messages and actions
- Search them on LinkedIn – have they posted? Engage if so and if appropriate.
Doing the 1 in the ‘3-4-1 System’ will mean the 3 and the 4 over time require less work as you’re doing more sooner after the event.
But we’re all human. We’re all busy.
And things slip through the cracks.
Plus, it might not be now when you and that person can explore a deeper conversation or way of working together.
It could be 4 weeks down the line. Or even 3 months.
Which is why I like the ‘3-4-1 System’.
Here’s what it looks like in my calendar (I have a reoccurring calendar slot blocked out each Tuesday morning at 8.30am – helping me go through the system before I start my day):
The Wrap Up
That’s the world premiere to the 3-4-1 System.
Consider it a checklist.
A system to keep you accountable. That’ll not just save you hours doing this kind of activity adhoc, but will strengthen your relationships.
I did say this was a workout for your network didn’t I?
Before you know it – it’ll become a habit and you won’t need prompts or questions.
Tweak the method as needed and appropriate for you.
Be it the timescales. The prompts or questions. Or the tactics to follow up.
It’s designed to be a system that’ll allow you to keep your network engaged, keep you front of mind, and help you become the person people think of.
Helping you network smarter, not harder.
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The weekly newsletter to help business owners and sales leaders network smarter.
1 networking tip, trend or tidbit – every Wednesday morning.
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