Networking, a Critical Tool for Survival
From the dawn of recorded history networking has been a critical tool for survival, growth, and prosperity. Even the archetypal mad inventors slaving away in their lonely cave or tower was surrounded by books… in reality, they were also in contact with other great minds working in related or parallel fields from whom ideas, methodologies and discoveries to test and build on were exchanged.
Clubs, societies, even libraries and schools are built on the premise that we are social beings and we learn and grow most when we are surrounded by other people. With the advent of the internet we have started to draw away from face-to-face meetings, relying on online groups, email, and video to connect us with others. These things are all good opportunities to connect, but in the end nothing can take the place of face-to-face contact for building solid relationships and conversations. Sadly, many people have lost the art of genuine networking.
Yes, networking is time-consuming. But so are many other valuable skills.
Yes, it can be confronting. Especially if you’re an introvert.
But… at the end of the day, your ability to network effectively will determine the strength of your business, the speed of your career trajectory, and your overall enjoyment of life and work. In short, networking skills will make you a happier and more successful person.
What is Networking?
Networking is the art of building genuine connections with a wide range of people. It’s about crossing the boundaries of age, sex, industry, and experience and recognising that we all have something to contribute.
Networking is about having conversations, sharing experiences, challenging and endorsing ideas, learning new things, and creating exciting synergies and opportunities providing support, It’s not simply about giving and receiving referrals or making instant sales.
Many of the people I talk to are terrified of networking events… or simply find them a waste of time. Generally it’s either because they have attended the wrong events, or they haven’t yet learned the skills they need to network effectively.
Problems with networking
If you’ve decided that networking is a waste of time, I’d like to encourage you to consider whether your real problem might be something else. Often the problem is that the networking events you’ve attended are transactional and promise quick customers… and that’s not really networking at all.
Or maybe, the problem is that you struggle to communicate the value you bring to clients or to turn the conversation round to something meaningful. In that case, some one-to-one or small group coaching may be what you need.
When you know WHY you’re attending networking events and following up, then you have a better perception of WHAT to say when you get there.
Confidence and motivation are extremely important for networking.
You need to be prepared and understand -
• Your networking goals and expectations
• Determine which events will best meet those goals to save you time and money
• Explore how you think about your business
• Discover your ‘ideal client avatar’
• Build your confidence through role-playing and other techniques
• Learn some key questions and conversation starters to help you draw others out
Benefits of Networking
The wider and deeper your network is, the greater your contribution and effectiveness both personally and professionally. Broaden and deepen your conversations and relationships within your workplace, industry, group or association for greater effectiveness and mutual benefit.
Explore and test your ideas and continue to develop your relationships as they will remain the key to your success.
Would you benefit from one-to-one or group coaching, or like to attend one of our monthly networking events providing opportunities for you to acquire business knowledge, grow your confidence and ability to talk about your business and develop helpful connections?
We can help you experience success when you apply our methods at your next networking event or in your everyday conversation with colleagues and associates. It can all start with a Complimentary 30 minute Conversation to discuss your Networking Health Check to determine what will suit your needs, contact us today