Networking is many things to many people. What is is not is selling! What is is not is always taking and never giving.
Here are a few things that networking is:
1. Networking is giving business referrals without expectations.
2. Networking is the ability to express appreciation by always remembering to say, “Thank you!”
3. Networking is career and personal clarity.
4. Networking is your access to opportunity and access comes through developing relationships with others.
5. Networking is an ongoing relationship building process.
6. Networking is being willing to set realistic, achievable networking goals.
7. Networking is beging committed to do whatever it takes to achieve those goals.
8. Networking is caring enough to do and be your very best.
9. Networking is loving yourself enough to love and give to others.
10. Networking is connecting with others to help them in any way you can.
11. Networking is developing the resources for future business referrals by developing close, business relationships.
12. Networking is an organized method of designing links from the people you know, connecting with the people they know, gaining and ever-expanding base of contacts to exchange information, advice, business contacts and support.
13. Networking is an opportunity to contribute to others and being a resource for other people.
14. Networking is about contribution. It’s about giving!
15. Networking is getting to know people who can help you develop your career and who you can help.
16. Networking’ is a socioeconomic business activity by which groups of “like-minded” business people recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities.
17. Networking is the exchange of information or services among individuals, or groups; specifically the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business referrals.
18. Networking is creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit. It’s based on the question “How can I help you?” and not with “What can I get?”
19. Networking is a process where you develop long term relationships with others for mutual benefit.
and my personal favorite – the definition I have used in my business networking seminars and workshops since 1987…
20. 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!
“We are walking encyclopedias of knowledge, and yet go to the grave with the music still within ourselves, unless we can master the art of networking. With our changing values, shifting methods and increasing competition, we find networking far more important than ever before. We must circulate if we expect to percolate, and we must make contacts if we expect to make contracts.” ~ Cavet Robert
Networking is a deceptively complex process. It is the single most powerful marketing tactic to accelerate and sustain success for any individual or organization. Networking works, but it doesn’t work by accident. It centers around building relationships. Building relationships takes time. Not everyone you meet is in a position to help you, however, most of the time – if you put forth the effort – you can find a way to help them. Networking for mutually beneficial business growth must be strategic and focused. It’s not easy. It takes finesse, patience and understanding about how relationships work and it can expand your circle of influence far beyond your imagination.
As my friend, Harvey Mackay says, “You have to dig your well before you’re thirsty!” Networking demands patience (the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset).
Getting involved in networking is being in it for the long haul. It is a two-way process where you make contacts that may be beneficial to you, but where you also offer information and assistance in return. Don’t expect to land numerous business referrals until you have proven to your friends that you can “give” business referrals.
Networking is a business and personal marketing tool that can deliver your overall business and marketing strategy. Because it is a personal form of communication and always involves face-to-face contact, networking deepens your personal and business connections. Good networkers achieve amazing results. For me networking has become a lifelong habit that I have used throughout my career. How you do it, when and with whom is up to you; but if you do it well, with a strategy, it will bring benefits to your business – both now and for a long time to come. I would not be where I am today had I not hopped on the networking train many year ago. All aboard!
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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