What is Networking?

September 4, 2007 at 9:12 am | Posted in Networking | 5 Comments

The Fall “networking season” is upon us with evites to events, seminars, summits and more. But really, what is networking? I’ve been told that I am an excellent networker because I am pretty much always looking to connect people, be they clients, prospects, vendors, friends, relatives and so on. But then, I always did this, way before the term networking hit our consciousness and became some sort of business building mantra.

I know that many people think they’re good networkers, but in actuality, they are not. I know this because they admit to looking at connections in an entirely linear manner and do not see the advantages in “circular” introductions. They are comfortable when there is a short-term “need” and then they can make an introduction or referral if you will. It is when the need is not clearly defined and more creativity is called for that they back off and do not engage in the networking dance.

There are definitely “natural” networkers and I am certain that they engaged in this sort of activity in the school yard, at camps, in classrooms, in their clubs, sports teams and more. They see the endless possibilities that come simply from people knowing people and undertand networking as nothing more than building relationships one contact at a time with no need for immediate business gain.

The key word is relationship and as soon as metrics are applied the word loses a bit of its luster.



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