Networking is a fad. As is oxygen, indoor plumbing, and sliced bread.
Alright, we all know networking is far from a fad. Ask any successful business person today their stance on networking, and they will have plenty of positive things to say. Maybe a few decades ago, businesspeople said that networking was just the latest craze, but now in 2015 we cannot avoid it.
In my book “Truth or Delusion,” which I co-authored with Mike Macedonio and Mike Garrison, I discuss how referral marketing, networking, word of mouth, and social capital, or just learning how to connect with other people in meaningful ways, is a cornerstone to business. But not just business – successful business.
You can literally network anywhere, despite the common misconception that networking is for work events only. Even places that may not seem like networking opportunities, like a child’s play date, can turn into an opportunity to grow your Power Sphere when your daughter’s friend’s mom is a plumber and you’re an electrician.
For those who networking doesn’t come easy, in business it is imperative that you continue striving to perfect your networking game. The saying “practice makes perfect” comes into play here, but not how you might expect. This saying is only half true. In actuality, only perfect practice makes perfect.
I once heard a music teacher tell his students, “Lousy practice makes a lousy musician.” The same is true for networking; you can practice day in and day out networking the wrong way, and what will happen is you will just get really good at incorrectly networking. Perhaps even perfect at it. Perfect practice, however, will back up strong networking habits.
Perfect practice is as easy as reviewing with yourself or a close business confidant after networking attempts. What strategies did you use? Did you make a lasting impression on those you interacted with? How many people made an impression on you? Despite what you may think, others networking well does play into the effectiveness of your attempts. Never forget that networking is a two-way street.
What are some networking myths that you have encountered in your career? Join the discussion and share your comments in the form below!