The value of Networking
Do you “network”? Perhaps you go to networking events? The likelihood is that even if you don’t actively “go networking”, you have a network. Because a network is simply a group of people you can call upon to a greater or lesser extent.
Having a strong business network is a useful thing, keeping you plugged in to a community. There are different communities to be connected to. Your network could be geographic, or it might be skills related. And the type of networking that you do could be face to face, or you may be part of on-line communities.
The types of event varies too. Face to face network groups might be over breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks – whether morning coffee, afternoon tea, or a cheeky beverage after a “day at the office”! There’s generally a local group to suit you!
The value of networking is the network
Networking is about building strong relationships
Going to networking meetings and groups is not for everyone. But some business owners I meet mistakenly believe that networking is about “selling”. No. It’s about building strong relationships with people in your community. It’s about being reliable, being trustworthy, doing what you say you’re going to do, and follow up quickly. No one likes to “nag”. So if you say you’re going to do something for another member of the group, do it. Delight them by doing it quickly. If you know you won’t be able to do it quickly – set that expectation too.
Follow up fast
Some people use their business networks like a mastermind group. Personally I think that’s a mistake. If that’s what you’re looking for, you might be better finding a group of people who are keen to grow their business, just like you. Take a look at my ActionCLUB for a bit more information. Networking is a bit different, it’s about building relationships, it’s about having trust and credibility with people in the room. You can call on your network if you’re looking for a specific contact. Hopefully your network will know you well enough to be able to make referrals to you longer term. Ivan Misner talks about Givers Gain – which is a useful concept when thinking about networking.
I take “givers gain” very seriously, and I’m delighted to support my business community. So, please connect with me on LinkedIn: Angus Lyon and let me know how I can help. I offer free Business Health check – and a follow-up coaching chat. I believe in the power of networks.
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