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Networking 101 – Cultivate Reciprocal Relationships

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

“Networking is about having a reciprocal relationship which evolves over time in a mutually beneficial manner.”

The words “reciprocal, relationship and mutually beneficial” are the ones that stand out the most for me here.

Let’s have a look at what the dictionary says:

‘Reciprocal’ – “In return; mutual; inversely correspondent, complementary; expressing mutual action or relation.”

‘Relationship’ – “State if being related; condition or character due to being related; kinship.”
‘Relation’ – “What one person or thing has to do with another, way in which one stands or is related to another, kind of connection or correspondence or contrast or feeling that prevails between persons or things.”

‘Mutually’- “Common to two or more persons”

‘Beneficial’ – “Advantageous; of having the use of or benefit of property etc.;”

Well that is all very clear isn’t it?  For me it means that there are two or more people who have formed a bond, that is a connection between them for the purpose of all people receiving something that is of benefit to them, in return for their participation.

Yet so many people seem to struggle really badly with this whole concept of everyone getting something out of the relationship – why?  I certainly cannot understand it.

It doesn’t mean that because I give you a qualified lead here and now today, that you have to go home and search through your entire data base to find someone who may or may not, need my services (in your opinion) and then refer them to me!  That’s just crazy.

What it does mean though is that during your travels in life and as and when you meet people and engage with them and learn more about them and start building a relationship with them, should you hear that they need the kind of services that I offer, you will refer me.

It means that when to talk to prospective clients about what they need from you, you also listen to what they need in general, from other people too – it might just mean that they need your services too.

Listening to what people want, rather than giving them what you think they need, is fundamental to the well being of your business.  Giving people what they want, means adding value to your business and it means adding value to the people that you have relationships with in your data base or your circle of influence.  It mean being reciprocal, it means giving benefit to your clients and your relationships.  It means bringing benefit to your client, your data base and yes, bringing benefit even to yourself.

So when you Network, remember to listen carefully . . .

Listen and then react!

For more information on Renate, please visit her website at