Business Networking in Inverness, Edinburgh, Aberdeen or where ever you live networking can be a powerful tool bringing in leads and connection into your business. But why is business networking so under-developed?
Life is About Growing Networks.
We all have networks, be it in life or with friends and family; they are the support net that helps us to get through everyday situations. We share our successes and troubles and support them in theirs. The connected world of social media has extended our networks the Twitter following, Facebook friends or Linkedin relationships. These connections are considered slightly different as they are not so much part of life as our real friends.
Our friends and family relationships are about love, mutual respect and support. We do not look at then from the perspective of how much can I get from them today. However, business networking seems to have a different feeling.
Business Networking or Prospect Hunting?
People change at networking events; business networking seems to bring out the best and the worst in people. These events get seen as prospect hunts or sales opportunities when they are just introductions.
There is the card collector: These are the people that make no attempt to connect with the room. They flit from person to person briefly introduce themselves then ask for your business card before moving on to collect another. You just know that on arriving at the office they are going to enter you into the database and send you emails like they know you.
Then there is the latch: This is the person that latches on and does not stop taking, they seek you out at breaks to continue the conversation.
Then the hard sell: You are greeted with a bone-crushing handshake and loud voice and introduction. “What do you do then. Ar.. Yes. I have got just the thing for you. Shall I sign you up for a dozen…
The Best Networkers
While networking is a social event, it is not a coffee or breakfast club we are there to make introductions that lead to business. There is a minority at events, people that know how to work the room and make you feel genuinely welcome. These are the people that move around with ease, somehow spending just enough time in each conversation. They don’t take or offer a card unless it seems right, they are fair with the conversation, and it all seems to have a natural balance.
If we can look at networking from that place of, “What can I give.” It will never go wrong. The video below explains how to look at networking from this direction.
Tips from the video
1 Always look for opportunities to introduce and support people within your network, and give.
2 Be clear who is your ideal client and create something that could be passed on to them, It needs to be something useful that could be read or actioned within 5 minutes.
3 Stay in touch with your network.
The above tips could be used in face to face relationships or online relationships. When was the last time you looked at your LinkedIn profile? You can see mine here. In my opinion, Linkedin is an underused tool, but more about that on my blog.
Happy to hear your views on networking, in the comments below on the other platforms.
To your success