Have you been facing trouble trying to connect with your network lately?

Networking is a two-way street. When someone in your network asks, “What can I do for you?” What they really mean is “What can you do for me?” Networks build value on the mutual benefits its members can extend to each other. Without mutual benefit, there is little reason to carry on with this self-marketing strategy.

If it has been a long time since you connected with anyone in your network, there’s a possibility your network finds less value in networking with you – likely because you are networking with them.

So, how do you find out if you are a poor networker? Check out the following clues that might tell you that you should focus on your networking skills.

1. People in Your Network Never Return Your Calls

It happens quite often – you call someone in your network and get no response. You try calling their business number, and their assistant responds he/she will forward the message. But, do you receive a callback? NO! The person may be avoiding you.

2. People in Your Network Have Been “Busy”

You bump into a person at a networking event. Obviously, they can’t feign being unavailable while at the event, so they come up with the most commonly used excuse, “I’m so sorry for not returning your calls. I’m swamped at work since my promotion.” Sure, this happens. However, if it happens frequently, with many people in your network you should take this as a sign.

3. You No Longer Feel Inspired

None of your contacts seem enthusiastic or pumped up about anything, not even a potential business prospect. Are you to blame? Or, did people in your network collectively figure out that you don’t have much to offer?

4. People in Your Network Do Not Pay Attention

You’re at a business event, with your “network friends,” discussing an opportunity you may have. But, no one is interested. Client “A” was yawning, “C” and “D,” think it isn’t really that great, and “B” has constantly been eyeing another potential contact – red flags!

5. People in Your Network Make New Friends, but Don’t Introduce You

You are with your networking buddies, and they’re talking about this person they know, but you don’t. Why haven’t they introduced you to him? While not introducing you may have been an oversight, if they make no attempt, you might consider this a clue.

6. You Find It Difficult to Create Opportunities

You’ve activated several of your contacts in an attempt to find and create better prospects for growth and success for your business. But, you haven’t heard from them since. Should you be worried? Possibly. If you have not received a response, then your business ideas may not be considered a value to your network.

6.5 Go Ahead and Add Value to Your Network

Don’t wait for things to improve; immediately get to work. This may seem like a monumental task upfront, but you can break it down into three simple benchmarks.

  • Reach Out. Start giving. Try and help the people around you and in your network to lay stronger, more meaningful foundations for genuine relationships. Connect those people who can add value to each other’s professional lives.

  • Mentor. There will always be industry newbies looking for guidance. Take them under your wing and nurture them with your experience. This investment will pay off in the long run.

  • Make Valuable Contributions. Share your experience, pool of contacts, and knowledge. Become a central source of worthy contributions and see how that makes you valuable to others.