Ask yourself, “How can I be a resource to others, give something to them and learn from them?”
I believe that if most networkers would begin to think of networking in this way, they would be much more successful.
How CAN you be a resource to others? Think about it. What do you already know that might assist someone else in your network?
We all know that business networking is a desired business strategy, however, we often get so wrapped up in making a living that we forget that networking is mostly about giving, not getting. We all know that getting is part of it, but forgetting that giving is what networking is really about keeps us from focusing on developing the close business relationships that are necessary for networking to work far into the future.
Are you helping others in the same way you want them to help you?
I am where I am today because of business networking! Passing business referrals is only a part of networking. Helping others, help themselves has been my purpose for more years than I care to recall. Most of my closest friends are a result of accepting this purpose as my own many years ago. A long-standing trust developed over time and made it possible for many other opportunities.
Who can you refer today? What tidbit of info that you have learned could you pass along to someone else? Perhaps you have spoken with a client or friend, and they are looking for a job or opportunity. Can you help? It’s important to stay in touch with those who knew you when you were on your way up and discover ways to help them. Follow-up to get reacquainted. You can possibly help them and they can help you.
Andrea Nierenberg offers some places to look for ways to be a resource.
She says, “Research tells us that there are at least 200 people who are already a part of your network. Get reacquainted with them. Networking is about creating and developing opportunities through meeting people and “connecting the dots” among them. The following categories of people can be the beginning of a great networking success story:
• Customers and clients – They are the lifeblood of your business. Build trustworthy and positive relationships with them.
• Suppliers and external partners – Refer them and stay on their radar screen.
• Colleagues and co-workers – Office pals are a powerful resource when networking. Invite a co-worker to lunch or coffee and get to know him or her better. Build your internal alliances consistently.
• People in your profession – Helping your competition can actually lead to greater opportunities to grow your business.
• Alumni and former classmates – Seize the opportunity to link up with people with whom you might want to reconnect. Linked In and
• Facebook are perfect for this.
• Like-minded people – Expand your horizons. Extracurricular activities introduce you to people with common interest and ambitions, or who share similar life experiences. (Larry’s NOTE: These people have been the group I focus on. They seem to be the most helpful because they think more like I do.)
• Neighbors — Turn a friendly wave into an invaluable conversation. Get to know your neighbors. You can open up the door for a new opportunity.
• Friends – Take time to nurture and cultivate your friends. Network with them in a positive way, never with expectations.
• Family – Family members can be a great resource for networking opportunities. Think of how you can be helpful to those in your family.
• People you meet serendipitously – Be kind to unfamiliar people. Airports, grocery store lines, and waiting rooms are filled with a world of networking opportunities. Keep your ears and eyes open. I learn daily by paying attention to the universe.”
Andrea adds, “Think of people you know who fit in each of these categories. The possibilities for networking are endless. Over time, as you build rapport and trust, these relationships lead to other contacts, partnerships, and opportunities.”
Opportunities to assist other networkers are everywhere. Once you have developed the mindset of “being a resource to others,” it will become part of you. It’s important to set aside chunks of time to actually look for ways to help others. Never allow yourself to forget just how important this is. Write notes to yourself and post them where you will be reminded to look for business referrals, ideas, tips, magazine articles, you can offer to others. Always be churning up new ideas about being the resource you would like to be for others.
Remember: Always remember those who go out of their way to help you. Say, “Thank you!”
Be an innovator and networking motivator! Challenge yourself to be the kind of networking resource you would like to know!
BONUS Articles: Become a “Resource Hub!”
Networking… The New Renewable Resource
Invite Your Referral Resources to Your Next Networking Meeting
How Much Time Do You Spend Looking for Referrals For Others?
Are You Helping Others in the Same Way You Want Them to Help You?
Copyright © 2015 – 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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