I have actively been networking for the benefit of work for about 15 years but I have actually been networking for 41 years i.e. all my life. Networking is all about other people and working with those people that you like. In the playground, we used to make friends with the other kids we liked and those were the birthday parties we were invited to. Not much changes when you grow up.
You attend networking events or join networking groups because you want more business. You meet everyone and start establishing relationships. Human instinct tells us we want to spend time with the people we like and it is with these people we will try and work with.
The big problem with networking is people trying to sell their product or service to other people in the room…..it’s not about that. If you only remember one thing about networking it is this…
…the other members are not your customers, they are your sales team!
You want to identify those people that you can work with for a long time, that you can help their business and they can help you. If you genuinely make an effort to help someone else, they will want to help you in return.
It’s not rocket science but people make the same mistake time and time again of trying to get a quick win without putting any work in. It is hugely more beneficial and powerful if you take a longer-term view that networking is part of your ongoing marketing to help you grow and expand your business. That if you deliver a high level of service to the other members, create an impressive reputation then you will win again and again and again.
Next week we will look at the variety of networking you can do and what is the best.