The Business Edge Blog

May 17, 2011

Business Tip #7 – Am I Networking?

Business Tip #7 –

As a business coach, I run into business owners and sales people who tell me they network all the time.  Some don’t feel they get the results they hoped to get in the groups where they network.  If this sounds like someone you know, please do me a favor and ask them a question.  “Are you really networking?”  I anticipate their response will be much the same as the response I get when I ask the same question.

Let’s start with a definition of Networking, at least for this blog:  The act of meeting NEW people in a business or social context.

So if you attend “networking” events and spend all your time talking to people you know, are you networking according to the definition above?  Nope.  I call that “socializing”, not networking.  You’ll notice that “social” is in the definition above, but is not the act of networking.

Consider the networking event you attended most recently.  How many new people did you meet?  Did you treat them as a potential new customer and follow up after the event?  (More about follow-up in a future blog.)

I’m not saying you should ignore your friends at these events.  Incorporate them in your networking – it’s easier than doing it alone.  Let’s say you are talking to someone you already know and have caught up on the critical things you needed to share.  Now get to work networking.  Look for someone who has not yet found someone to talk to.  Perhaps they have that look of loneliness on their face, or they are hanging out near the food table.  Approach this person together.  Introduce yourselves.  Be interested in what the new person has to say.  Exchange business cards.  Introduce them to someone else in the room that you know could help them in their business.  When their conversation is going well, excuse yourself and move on to someone else new.

You can do this!  You can network:  The act of meeting NEW people in a business or social context.

Try real networking at the next event you attend.  Share your results in the comments below or send me an email if you need a bit more encouragement.                                   Holly Hanson

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1 Comment »

  1. awesome article. many thanks!

    Comment by Patricia Boyles — May 17, 2011 @ 11:12 am | Reply


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