“The real joy in life comes from giving. It comes from service. It comes from doing things for other people. That is what is so powerful about this. Nothing will make you happier than giving.” ~ Marc Benioff, SalesForce.com
Networking is about helping other people in your network of support. It’s supporting each other is many ways; with ideas, information, business referrals and more. If you network to sell to those you network with, most likely you will never be successful in business networking. Many think networking is all about meeting people. The more you meet, the better the network. This is one of those misguided themes that lead many people to frustration.
The fact is, you are networking to help you and others. The problem comes when you focus more on getting than giving. If you cannot get that helping others should be your main focus when networking, I would recommend that you stop networking and focus on what else that works best for you. Do everyone else a favor and realize the pointlessness of random networking that focuses on getting. I have discovered that many networkers know this but don’t actually practice it.
They have a bad week and their boss begins to put pressure on them to perform and they switch their focus on getting which to many reeks of desperation. You begin to focus on what is urgent instead of what is important. You come across as scheming, crafty, aggressive and sometimes malicious. Not cool. Not cool at all. People notice. They get turned off by this and you are the one who loses.
People under pressure do not come across as genuine. Networking teaches you patience. People who are desperate want instant gratification. Networking doesn’t give you that. It makes you wait until you meet the right people and those people begin to like you and trust you… that’s when networking gives you the best results! Re-think your networking strategy to make lasting connections.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie
Networking should never be about meeting as many people as possible in as short amount of time at an event. Why? Because there is no glory in returning to your office with a handful of business cards if nothing comes from your efforts.
Cultivating a network takes time. The people in my network who help me the most are people I have developed relationships with over time – sometimes years. They are my friends. We help each other. We are not afraid to share our business issues with each other and ask for help. Personal relationships run the world. I learned early on that a non-prospect may be just as important to my future needs as a prospect because they may connect me with someone or something I need. The more people I help, the more friends I make.
“It all comes back to helping others. If you spent 100 percent of your waking hours thinking about how you can help absolutely everyone you come in contact with — from the woman who makes your latte, to the top authority in your industry — you will find everything else tends to take care of itself. The world will suddenly be in your corner.” ~ Scott Dinsmore
If business networking sucks for you… you are probably very bad at it. The solution? Stop networking and start helping people that you already know. Become better friends with them. Be a giver, not a taker. Change your mindset from a selfish one to an unselfish one. If you can provide a benefit or a helping hand to someone, they will remember that down the road when they actually need your services. Stop aiming to generate business and aim to understand and help people. That’s when networking will give you the results you desire.
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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