Effective networking – and I stress the word “effective” – is about helping others!
Networking is. . . using your creative talents to “help others” achieve their goals as you cultivate a network of people strategically positioned to support you in your goals. . . expecting nothing in return! ~ Larry James
One of the biggest mistakes people make when networking, according to most experts, is to think that networking is about them.
No one gets further behind in their pursuit of success than someone who is only and always in it for themselves. That is not a winning strategy. Networking is about building relationships. That takes time. People who are only in it for themselves seldom get the opportunity to develop close business relationships because they are too busy turning off the very people who they need in their own network.
Networking is about helping people in your network of support connect for future mutual benefits. It’s about finding out what someone else needs and assisting them in any way you can to help them get it.
Before you attend a networking event or group, prepare a few questions and conduct mini-interviews with people you meet to find out what their needs are and whom they are connected to. Pay attention and really listen to how you can help them. At the end of the conversation, ask for their business card, and if they are genuinely someone you would like to add to your network, follow up the next day with a personal phone call to set up a time to get together.
Networking is about building relationships, not collecting business cards and collecting contacts and certainly not about you. Focus on the bigger picture. Beneath every success story is how other people helped them to get where they are. When you give generously without worrying about what you might get in return, you attract attention to you as someone who truly understand the purpose and benefits of business networking. You must earn their trust before the relationship becomes sound enough for each of you to benefit mutually.
Remember: It’s not about you. It’s not about your own personal fulfillment, your goals or your achievements. Boastfulness doesn’t work when networking. Nor is it about the title that comes after your name, the big corner office you sit in or the big shiny car you drive to that office.
Always put the other person and their interests first!
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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