One of the underlying benefits of business networking that is not generally talked about is the opportunity for leadership development and personal growth. These are but two of the positive effects networking can contribute to you. The most successful people I know place networking as a very high priority.
When people really get the concept of networking and make consistent contributions to others, it works that way. It always works better if everyone is working together as a team. One of the best ways is to focus on spending time looking for business referrals you can share with others in your network instead of trying to find someone who will give you a referral.
Let’s face it. Most everyone gets involved in networking because they want their business to grow. We want business referrals. But in our everyday business we get so busy only thinking of what “we” want, we forget that everyone else is there for the same reason. Many networkers learn to late that if everyone is there only and always trying to “get” business referrals… everyone in the group suffers because no one is actually receiving any business referrals.
Everyone in your network must be pulling in the right direction; doing lots to contribute to others, Many people are resistant to purposefully making contributions to others. We forget about others because we are so busy trying to keep our own head above water. Always be prepared to offer something in return for the help you receive.
You make a contribution to your group when you volunteer to step up to a leadership position or by pitching in to assist the leader of the group. Donate your time to making your group the best networking group around. Another way is to introduce new members to the other people in the group. You grow as an individual when you inspire others to do more than seek out referrals for themselves. That’s the “what’s in it for me” mentality and that doesn’t get you very far when networking.
Look for someone different each week that you can get to know better. If you want people to pay attention to you, you must first pay attention to them. Show an interest in them and their business.
I discovered very early that my purpose in life is to help others help themselves. I’ve been a teacher and networking trainer since 1987 and it has served me well. I began to seek out people who were doing well and requested time with them to see what they were doing and how they were doing it… then I passed this information on to others.
There is no shame in admitting that you need help. Brainstorm with others in your network of support. You cannot be successful in networking by yourself. I’ve made many “best friends” while networking. These kind of friends and your involvement in networking can propel you in your career far beyond business as usual. Getting involved with others stimulates new ideas. I found that the most successful people were the ones who were most willing to share their ideas with me. Believe me, this will increase your productivity and profitability.
Networking challenges you as a person. It requires that you to be the best you can be and in the process continually work to help others be the best they can be too. Reach out to include others in your network. You amplify your own efforts that way. Learn to develop new contacts that will enhance your own achievements. Unleash your enthusiasm. Get excited about helping others.
If you need help, ask for it. If not, prove it!
Copyright © 2014 – 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 Networking 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!”
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