Business networking is NOT about attending an event, collecting stacks of business cards and telling everyone about YOUR business!
People who only do that just don’t get it!
Rarely few, if any will do business with you – much less refer new business to you – unless they have an established relationship with you. As my friend, Tom Hopkins, once said, “People only do business with people they like and trust.”
I am offended when meeting someone new at a networking event if the only thing they want to do is try to get me to buy their product or service. Are you kidding? “I don’t know you, much less trust you! Get lost!” Of course, I would never say that to anyone, but I’m thinking it. I simply conjure up a quick excuse to move on and put their business card in the pocket designated for “throw-away” later. Seldom will anyone refer you to their close business associates upon first meeting you.
So. . . Stop it! Don’t do networking that way anymore. It doesn’t work!
Rethink your strategy. Spend some time learning how the professional networkers do it. Research the hundreds of FREE networking articles in this blog. Take a look at the Networking Articles Index. Attend a networking seminar and begin to use the valuable tips you learn. Read good networking books. “Ten Commitments of Networking” is a great book to start with.
“Let someone else educate you, even if you’re tempted to stay closed minded, because you value their knowledge and appreciate their willingness to share it.” ~ Lori Deschene
Before you can get the attention of the professional networkers (the people you really need to know), the pros will want to know more about YOU first – then your business (in that order). They will first seek to understand how they might be able to help you, if you are someone that knows the networking ropes and whether you are someone they could work with in the future.
Once you gain the confidence of those in your network you will most likely be granted unlimited access to their knowledge of networking and when that partnership is in place you will fit nicely in their connection zone. Information that is timely, relevant and trustworthy is the reward. AND maybe even a business referral or two. With a solid business relationship in place you will be amazed how it will improve your productivity.
To sum it up. . . it’s time to get serious about business networking. Networking works better when we all work together, get to know each other better and focus on developing long-term relationships with other networkers.
Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
NOTE: All articles and networking tips listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.
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