Networking is undoubtedly a fabulous and practical way to get yourself and your business exposed to new opportunities. You get to know new people, new interesting businesses, you learn about other’s ideas, perspectives and share your own.
While doing so, you collect information about the other person so you will know enough to decide if you can mutually benefit one another and therefore if this is a relationship you would like to develop and build.
As you know, the networking work only begins at the first meeting. After you have communicated and met again, you get to know the other person better and create a mutually beneficial relationship that is based on honesty and genuine care. Then, both sides create a foundation where they are happy to help one another with each other’s needs.
That being said, some people fail to create business relationships. I hear about it all the time; people meet good connections but they don’t act to create a relationship. Sometimes people tend to do “half work,” contacting the people they met, saying they want to meet again, but actually they end up neglecting the process in the middle. Eventually they lose that connection. This is one of the advantages of running your own networking group – you will meet people on a regular basis and the relationship develops organically.
In this “game of networking” those who do not act lose more as they miss out on opportunities to grow and develop.
Three Reasons for Failed Relationships
- Don’t keep the end result in mind – Some people interact with others without actively seeking for the possible benefit they can get out of a certain contact. That’s why they aren’t motivated to keep and work on that relationship. When meeting someone for the first time, it is crucial to listen and ask the right questions in order to learn about the person’s skills and resources. That way you can try and figure out how they can help you in your short or long term needs and, of course, how you can assist them. Once you realize how someone can assist you, that is when you have a reason to build that relationship. You are now more motivated to make that phone call, schedule that lunch and build a relationship where you can help the other person the same as he or she can help you.
- Lack of persistency – Relationship building is a process that takes time and energy. Creating a relationship and getting to know someone doesn’t happen in a day and it’s about constant communication. In our busy routine we should make time in our schedules for nurturing our relationships. Be persistent and, once started, don’t leave that process. These relationships can be rewarding in many ways; personally, financially, socially and help you achieve your desired goals. Persistency is the key.
- The fear of networking relationships – Unfortunately there are so many talented, smart, amazing, precious people that don’t really believe in their abilities to achieve networking relationships and goals. These types of people usually don’t create connections actively, as they are not sure how they can contribute to the relationship. Whether it’s due to shyness, fear or inferiority complexes, or for whatever reason, it’s usually unfounded and it’s unfortunate as these people are missing out on good opportunities for their business and life. You – as a person with certain experiences, friends, and resources – have the ability to help others just as they can help you. As underestandable as it is, you shouldn’t let that lake of self belief or fear keep you from your real purpose and goals. Find your way to break through your fears. A good way to start is by approaching five different friends or close colleagues and asking how they value your services, abilities, resources, professional skills and the like. That way you will be able to understand better in what way you can assist and contribute to others, which is likely to add some power and value to your networking abilities. Good friends will tell you the truth… (Which is mostly better than we think it is.)
As much as it’s important to know what may hold us back from our networking success, it is also important to know what brings us success.
Being a part of a supportive business networking group such as “Business Buzz” is a great way to meet people, practise and sharpen your networking skills in order to make the most out of your networking activity.
Network your way to success!
Lirone Glikman is a Business Networking Coach, helping business people, entrepreneurs, career driven people and the like, to achieve their business and life goals through smart management of their relationships, using practical tips and techniques.