I hesitate to make sports analogies because as anyone who knows me will tell you, I have little interest in or knowledge of sports. Whatever its roots, the expression “playing the long game” really struck me this week when I received an email from a fellow member of the WBN Board. She was preparing a communication piece for the WBN and wanted to refer to an article I wrote about networking.
This article was written a few years back and I was surprised that she even remembered reading it. That the advice and tips in the article stayed with her all this time really made an impact on me. You just never know when the things you put out there will come back to you.
It is impossible to predict when you will reap results from the relationships you develop in business. Social media has enriched the networking experience, and perhaps made it more complex. But the principles are the same – look for opportunities to assist people and bring value.
For those starting out in business or new to social media, be patient with seeing a return on your networking activity. Establish habits you can maintain consistently. Nothing kills relationships faster than not responding to emails, or dropping off Twitter after an initial flurry of activity. Developing relationships in business is a long game. Have fun, and play to win.