Networking is about learning from and potentially helping people. That’s it! Networking is NOT about selling a product or service or handing out resumes. If you learn from and potentially help the right people, they tend to help you right back! The essence of networking is knowing what you want (more business, land a job, learn something, solve a problem, social reasons), going to the right places (associations, chambers of commerce, conferences, networking groups, alumni organizations, social clubs), saying the right things (strong intro, asking good questions, delivering an elevator pitch, exchanging business cards, creating interest and engagement), meeting the right people (those that can help you accomplish your goal – economic buyer, hiring manager, referral source), and following up the right way (promptly making good on promises, next steps, providing info, setting up a meeting, staying in touch, developing relationships over time, expanding a strong database, establishing an awesome reputation, offering great value).
Who should network? If you’re a business owner, sales rep, recruiter, fundraiser, politician, job searcher, corporate warrior looking to advance, or looking for the love of your life, you should be networking.
My networking model is simply going to the right places, saying the right things, and meeting the right people. Of course, the right places, right things, and right people will vary depending on what you’re looking for – type of job, type of business, or the man/woman of your dreams. But the model remains the same –who, what, where.
The benefit of networking is establishing long term relationships over time so you always have resources to help you (and your network) with life’s endeavors. The fun part is you get to help them right back!read more