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Networking 101 – My Unfair Advantage

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It is common knowledge that the most successful entrepreneurs network well.

We’ve all come across the “Old Boy’s Club” at one time or another and more often than not, we feel completely frustrated by the perception that we have been ‘locked out’ from an opportunity.

We’ve all also come across the statement “It’s not what you know, but who you know” and those of you who know me, know that I take that one step further and say that it’s also about ‘who you don’t know that know the people that you do know!” Little wonder then that others are often quite resentful about what they consider as my ‘unfair advantage’, particularly if they think that their product or service is better or cheaper than mine.

For many others my ‘unfair advantage’ is often seen in a negative light. Some think that I am receiving ‘backhanders’ or that I have a lack of ethics or integrity – the reality is that I am not engaged in anything sinister – I am however actively engaged in Networking and this means that I am doing business the ‘easy’ way and by me doing business the ‘easy’ way, means that someone else may not have the same opportunity of doing the business the ‘easy’ way and this is often a bitter pill to swallow.

Although the perception is that the concept of Networking is all the rage in business circles and that business decision makers and directors are meeting everywhere, the sad reality is that very few people actually network effectively. The perception because of this is that Networking is a waste of time and I promise you, it isn’t.

In order to Network effectively, you need to make a commitment. The commitment that you need to make is to your data base. Your database needs to be built for mutual, profitable, long terms business relationships.

You need to know and understand what you want to achieve from each member of your data base. In fact you are either a buyer or a seller or an information gatherer or a connector.

Listen out for opportunities – not only for yourself, but also for the members of your database. Always, always, always add value to your database – you will be amazed at the value and the business that you will get out of it.