Business Networking as we know it is Dead! I know this may seem a bit shocking considering the number of successful business networking groups that can be found in any major city. Lets face it though what is the reason that most people go to a networking group, its to get business. While there is nothing wrong with the concept, how many go to a networking group with the intention of giving to others success. To make it even more challenging, how many people have you met at a networking group gave you a name to just make you feel better, but the person didn’t really need your services? These things are happening more than ever, and in order for networking groups to thrive, something must change.
What Is Effective Business Networking?
To network effectively requires a complete shift of thinking from what you have done in the past to what will be beneficial in the future. The primary goal should be to create relationships. In today’s world we are more likely than ever to give referrals to friends and family before complete strangers. So ask yourself, do you want to be in a business networking group with family or strangers? Personally I want to build strong enough relationships that they truly feel like family. When you follow this simple principle you now have a group of friends marketing your business instead of just yourself. That is a powerful thing.
The first step that you should take when networking is to meet everyone within a group on a one to one basis. This step by far will take the longest especially with a large group. The reason for doing this is you will get to learn more about who a person is and not just what they do. You will find that there is typically more to each person that you meet besides what is on the surface. You will discover that the people you are networking with for business will have similar hobbies and interests or even have similar backgrounds. When you are meeting people for the first time, change the language you are using. Instead of saying what you are doing for a living, take an interest in what they are doing. Ask people what are you working on currently and who can I introduce you to! This is very powerful because you are shifting your energy from receiving to giving. Each of us has an amazing network of resources to tap into to help those around us, and the more we focus on giving the more we will receive. Start making these simple changes and begin to experience a shift in your networking results. Share the gift of the knowledge of business networking in this post by sharing it with your friends to spread the message to change the world of networking as we know it!