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Networking 101 – Networking with Integrity

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Dr. Renate Volpe, in her nugget cards entitled “Networking Tips” says:

“Resist short term gain, at the expense of trust and integrity.”

Now this is an interesting one!  Many times, a few days after meeting someone at a networking meeting, I have phoned said person only to be told – “I’ve not gotten anything out of the meeting from anyone, so this networking thing doesn’t work for me!”

Oh how sad and how very short sighted!  Here’s the thing see – if you go to a networking event purely with the intention of getting some work or selling a widget at that meeting, please don’t go.  All you are doing is wasting everybody’s time and energy and more to the point, disillusioning yourself!

Think about this logically for a moment.  If you do a cold call and you manage to get past the gate keeper and in to see the top brass – how often will you make a sale of your widget and/or service at that first meeting?  The answer is pretty much NEVER!  So why on earth would you think that you could get it right at one networking meeting?

The truth is that networking doesn’t, by itself, get you any business!  What it does do is get you to meet people, far more people than you would if you were going door to door and cold calling.  It is still what you do, after you have met with those people that counts.  It’s how you build the relationship thereafter that makes the difference!

Networking is about ‘warm’ calling – once you have met or even seen someone at a networking meeting, when you call them up – even if they don’t remember seeing or meeting you there, once you introduce yourself and say you were at that meeting, they will remember being there too and it is easier to set up the appointment!  Once you have your foot in that door, the building of the relationship can start taking place and the referrals of your own ‘circle of influence’, can take place and the meeting of the other persons ‘circle of influence’ can start to take place and big business can start being done.  It has to start somewhere though and that somewhere is at the networking meeting!

So in essence, networking is about meeting new people in order to start building relationships.  Once you have grasped that, you will be well on your way.

For more information on Renate, please visit her website at www.drrenatevolpe.co.za

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