The importance of networking, both online and in-person networking, has been highlighted in a few forums recently. If you’re still not sure why you ought to be networking seriously, you might like to take note of these two points:
1. Networking is NOT for selling your products or services, it is for developing RELATIONSHIPS with more people.
2. Networking takes TIME and EFFORT. When you get to know other people better and vice versa, you gain a better understanding of each other’s NEEDS and can find ways and means of FULFILLING those needs, both yours and theirs.
Here is an extremely important point that I think most people miss out on. Have you ever considered why someone else might want to get to know YOU? What does knowing you, including you into someone else’s contact sphere or even inner sphere, mean for that person? Are you a valuable contact, a “go-to” person full of resources, whose name comes to mind when they need something or when they need something done? If you are not jubilantly punching your fist in the air with a resounding “YES!”, maybe it’s time you paid some attention to your own growth as a leader, as a person, as somebody that many others would crave to get to know.
Do you have intellectual firepower, lots of it? Are you known to be a resourceful person? Are you considered by many to be trustworthy? Are your goods and services of the highest possible quality, no matter what? If you can answer “YES!”, then you are ok. And if many OTHER people can answer “YES!” for you, then you’re on your way to great significance!
Need help starting? Write down a list of people you do know and with whom you transact business, whether on your own or on behalf of the company. It could be your co-workers, your customers, your suppliers, your maintenance people. Perhaps even your IT guys! Start making appointments to have tea or coffee with them, with the objective of simply getting to know them better as people. You’ll find business opportunities coming to the surface, many of which will surprise you. Tell us how it went!