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Networking 101 – Building sustainable relationships

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This is what I left you with at the end of the Networking tip last time and it is something that I want to re-iterate again!

“Networking is about building relationships. Relationships that are mutually beneficial, that are sustainable and worked at. Relationships that will, over time give you returns on your investment (which is the time that you have spent working on those relationships).

Attending a few networking meetings and handing your card out to a few dozen people is not going to do it. You have to meet up with those people, have a discussion, get to know them and what it is that they do – start a business relationship and then work at maintaining that relationship.

Networking for me is a foot in the door – it’s a fast way to meet people, especially like minded people who are as passionate about their business as I am about mine.”

So if attending a few networking meetings and handing your card out to a few dozen people is not going to do it – what will? As a natural networker, for me this is quite simple – I Network where-ever I am.

You see, you are never going to know where your next big deal is going to come from. It might be someone that you have met at a networking meeting, it might be someone that you have met through your social network and more importantly, it might be someone that you have never laid eyes on before, but who has been referred by someone that you have met while watching your son’s soccer match that you very nearly missed because you were ‘too busy’!

Networking is something that must become second nature to you. It must be something that you do without thinking. It must be an automatic response. It must be something that has access to every conceivable part of your life.

Many people who realise the importance of networking, and who actually ‘get it’ come adrift on this point. They see networking as something that only needs to be done at networking meetings, or in a business environment. To them networking is something that they do when they attend a local business event – where they hand out their 30+ business cards and then leave the function thinking that they have done the job well. They could not be more wrong if they tried!

Networking in its purest form and if done properly is so much more – stick around for next weeks tips to find out more.