Building Relationships vs. Networking
Networking is important, we all know that. We need to meet people to advance whatever agenda we are working on. Networking is the buzzword of this century. You hear it everywhere. It means to interact with each other to exchange information and develop contacts.
You’ve been to networking events. Usually there’s time to sit and visit, maybe have a cocktail. Then there’s a program of some sort. Finally you either go to work, or you go home. Maybe you’ve exchanged business cards with someone. You’ve probably made small talk, talked about the latest sporting event, or discussed some political thing. You may have even asked the ever popular question “what do you do?”
In small towns you probably know 70% of the people (or more) at the events. You usually end up sitting or standing with the people you know. There’s little actually networking, because you’re talking to the people who you already know. It’s uncomfortable mingling with people you don’t know.
Networking is based on a secret: networking should be about how can I help you. Go into the business of meeting people with the idea of how can you help that person. What do you know (or who do you know) that would be of assistance to this person?