Network: 10 things you can do to build a better network

Do you know how effective your network is? Does it help or hinder your ability to grow your practice?

If you want to boost your networking effectiveness, the Adviser Voice website shared my ten tips of what you can do.

The old saying “It’s not what you know – but who you know” is still relevant today. While career success isn’t solely determined by your network, there’s no doubt that a strong and sustainable network is a key influencing factor.

Financial advisors who want to grow their career and practice need to look to build a network which is:

  • Broad – includes a range of stakeholders both internal and external to their organisation, and across a range of sectors
  • Deep – includes stakeholders from different hierarchical levels
  • Established – based on trust, authenticity, reciprocity and transparency

Building a network takes time and energy, and it must be genuine.

Do you know how effective your network is? Does it help or hinder your ability to grow your practice?

If you want to boost your networking effectiveness, here are ten things you can do:

  1. Regularly identify your network. Ask yourself – who’s in it, and how effective it is? Identify any gaps that exist, and where there are blockages (ie people with whom it’s hard to get things done)
  2. Drive energy into your network – so that you strike the right balance between reaching out to people and asking for something, and you reaching out to others and offering help and support. Be proactive in helping others. Remember – the more you share, the more you will gain, over time
  3. Consistently follow through and live up to your commitments. This is a critical ingredient for building trusted relationships
  4. Consciously seek out people with different opinions, who will challenge your thinking and mindset, so that your network has character and depth. The more you broaden your mind, the greater your ability to think issues through, take on different perspectives and manage complex business decisions
  5. Support your team with their networks and find out how your team collaborates. Is it effective? Are they collaborating across the team and into other areas of the organisation?   How they network can impact your success
  6. Know the connectors and influencers in your team and network. These people know people, and therefore know how and who to influence. In short, they know how to get things done and can more easily navigate hierarchical roadblocks
  7. Reward and encourage your team members who engage in healthy and effective collaborative behaviours
  8. Help integrate people who are new to your organisation and team. Introduce them to key people and let them know who they can turn to for information, expertise and support
  9. Actively facilitate collaboration across teams, business areas, geographic boundaries, particularly where it’s critical to business outcomes. You’ll not only be helping to secure progress, but you’ll also be building your brand as someone who is well connected
  10. Enjoy building your network, and always do it from a position of integrity. I’ve left the most important item until last. Your integrity is essential and it is something that you should protect and nurture. If you lose your integrity you will have little credibility or trust with your stakeholders, and therefore, an ineffective network