Breaking Myths About Career Networking, Networking Events, Networking Vs. Selling

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  • A misunderstood concept.

  • A strong network development requires making connections that can sustain more than a simple introduction.

  • A contact or connection cannot be established by an initial meeting or contact with someone.

  • Follow-up should be there in developing a mutually supportive relationship.

  • Developing relationships (not just contacts) is the key to opportunities.

  • To be eager to or to listening to a “sales job” about one’s value is different from developing a relationship based on mutual needs/interests.

  • Contacts may be immediate.

  • A relationship can be established and built only over time.

  • To build a strong relationship, Credibility and trust are much stronger cases.

  • The potential to build begins with:

    • The first introduction.

    • Requires the investment of time and energy for follow-up.

    • The follow-up and continued contact is a prerequisite to developing relationships.

    • Will support ones desire to be remembered.

Networking Events

  • May be in themselves intimidating or misleading.

  • The inexperienced networker may be under pressure unnecessarily whenever any event is referred to a “networking opportunity”.

  • Building a network:

    • All situations or events that allow interaction with others.

    • Provides the potential for building a network.

    • Lead to something closer to his or her desired outcome.

  • It is very important to prepare what one will say and to know what the objectives while attending an event are.

  • One should be prepared for asking questions.

  • Identifying the settings or situations that one is most comfortable with.

  • Planning time in advance.

  • While some people follow an informal setting others prefer a structured event.

  • Practising and participating until one can move on to other:

    • Less comfortable interactions.

    • Still succeed in developing connections.

Networking vs. Selling

Networking

  • Network building requires time and commitment to helping others.

  • Requires a mutual understanding from the start that it is about “what we can do for you” rather than “what you can do for me.”

  • Networking requires showing a concern and interest in others:

    • Help building the credibility and trust.

    • Credibility and trust are the mainstay of establishing an effective network.

Selling

  • Is the “Drive-by” networking?

  • The kind of networking that most people experience.

  • Saying hello to many people.

  • Passing out business cards but does not include any follow-up.

  • An ineffective means to establish a productive network.

  • The success of sales situations depends upon the relationships.

  • A relationship requires:

    • Time to build.

    • Requires integrity, credibility and trust.

  • The salesperson needs to ask questions and listen to the answers to establish trust and credibility.

  • Need to show an interest in audience’s needs or concerns.

  • Rapport-building cannot be accomplished in 30 seconds.

    • Cannot be accomplished without asking some questions.

  • Identifying audience’s (an individual or the group’s) needs.

  • Presenting intelligent solutions or responses.

  • Asking prepared, thoughtful questions that can actually produce meaningful results.

  • By providing helpful connections.

  • An initial good impression is the beginning of a longer-term relationship.

  • A nurtured relationship grows over time.

  • Relationship could potentially lead to:

    • Securing a new position. In the meantime, you have.

    • Establishing oneself as a reliable, concerned, problem solver.

Networking Tips

  • Asking questions and listening to the speakers.

  • Identifying his or her concerns or interests.

  • Offering solutions or connections.

  • Using email or phone for immediately follow-up.

One Being Referred to a New Contact

  • Referring the party to any new correspondence with the new contact.

  • Keeping the referrer informed of about the progress.

  • Making sure one has considered new resource carefully and have prepared questions well.

  • Taking the time to note it and reference it if the original contact has provided with inside information.

  • Ask questions using open ended that can be easily understood.

    • Using open-ended sentences, i.e., “Please describe,” “please tell me about,” “how would you....”

    • One should be specific in what he/she is asking.

  • It is more specific to ask “Please tell what he/she like the most about one’s industry”.

  • One should always remember to thank anyone that has taken time:

    • To help him/her by providing information of any kind.

    • A thank you goes a long way.

  • Staying in touch with new contacts.

  • Letting new contacts know that he/she is thinking of them.

  • Sending an article of interest or even simply updating them about the progress.