Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

07970 638857


Eighty Percent Of Success Is Showing Up!

A lovely quote attributed to Woody Allen ...



I don't suppose he's ever done the research to back up that percentage. I have no idea what percentage of success you can expect from just attending networking events ...

There's no simple scientific formula for networking success. Sorry Woody!

There's no simple scientific formula for networking success. Sorry Woody!

copyright: nexusplexus / 123rf stock photo

However, I am pretty confident that pitching up is an essential prerequisite. I'm also pretty certain that unless you do some specific things once there, you still might walk away empty handed no matter how many times you attend.

"But which things?

It would actually be quite hard to do a fully controlled scientific experiment to find out what percentage of each thing actually works. It's the type of analysis you would need to do if testing out whether a new drug worked or not.

The trouble with social experiments is always separating out the variables such as which action made what percentage difference.

Each person in the experiment would have to do exactly the same things except with just one difference. Turn up at the same frequency to the same events at the same time and stay the same length of time.

Then they would need to promote the same product using the same words in the same manner in the same order to the same people. Then split people into groups with each applying just one of those variable, plus a control group that does it all.

The statisticians will be able to give us the probability about whether this is likely to have happened in any case by chance, but if they are any good, they will couch it around with a lot of caveats that will be going through your head too.

"Don't forget all those, ''yes, but what if ...'' thoughts too!"

We intuitively know that we have to do a variety of things to get success and, like baking a cake, the things are ingredients and the result is all in the recipe and skill of the cook.

Now I'm not up for that type of experiment and as far as I know, it has never been attempted. So what if we used a thought experiment instead?

I was first introduced to thought experiments when trying to get my head around the deeper concepts of physics. When actually doing the experiment would be too hard or unethical a thought experiment means you simply play it out in your head. Einstein did it when imagining moving at the speed of light.

I'm not suggesting anything as high powered as that, although a Nobel Prize for Business Networking would certainly look good on my CV. How about checking something a bit more simple?

Imagine Bob is a member of your network group that meets every two weeks. For each criterion what would Bob need to score on a scale of 0-10 before you would be willing or able to refer him, where 10 equals excellent?

  • He turns up to most meetings of the group

  • He has an intriguing message about what he offers his clients

  • He makes time to have proper conversations with you

  • He asks sensible questions about what you do and who you want to meet

  • He knows his subject and can produce testimonials to back up his claims

  • He comes across as reliable and trustworthy

  • He wants to meet the sort of people that you know

  • He can provide you with information at the right level for you to introduce him

  • He gives a range of introductions and support to you and others in the group

Is there something else that would really make a difference? Now you know what is important to you to make a referral, you can focus on making sure you are presenting your business in the same way.

"Sorry Woody, this isn't very scientific!"

I do think it's so much more than just showing up though, so if you'd like to learn more about networking do get in touch with me on 07970 638857 or click here to send me an email enquiry and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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