Over the years, I have noticed different styles of networking. One of these styles results in the ground smoking wherever these networkers tread. I call this “Scorched Earth Networking”. It is very important to AVOID this type of networking. Here are the five hallmarks of a Scorched Earth Networker.
Constantly Moves Groups
They are dissatisfied with the referrals received. The Scorched Earth Networker does not stay in one place long enough to build the type of relationships it takes to really capitalize on networking. It’s like planting a tree in one spot. When the growth isn’t happening fast enough, it’s uprooted again and replanted. Each time that tree is uprooted, it takes longer to build itself back up to even where it was before being moved. A serious networker understands that in order for that tree to thrive, it needs to stay where it is.
Talks More Than Listens
Have you met someone who talks on and on about their services and does not seem genuinely interested in your business? You met a Scorched Earth Networker! A serious networker will want to learn all about you and your business, and how they can help you accomplish your goals.
Does Not “Honor The Event”
They network at inappropriate events. You’ve seen the Scorched Earth Networker wanting to do business and passing out business cards at a church function, funeral or other inappropriate events. The key to networking at all times is to do it in a way that is appropriate. While it can be entirely appropriate to begin a relationship at an event, such as a wedding or funeral, going around looking for an opportunity to pass out business cards is not the right way to do that!
Thinks That Being Highly Visible Is Enough
The more you are seen in the business community (visibility), the more you become known and trusted (credible). The problem with the Scorched Earth Networker is that they believe that anything that makes them visible is beneficial. Wrong! As people begin to trust you, they begin to refer you to others. This is when you will see more business referrals (profitability).
Expects Others To Be Consistently Referring Them.
The Scorched Earth Networker expects a source of dependable and constant referrals. This view of networking is a transaction, NOT a relationship. There is a law of reciprocity and synergy that cannot be denied when you focuses on giving referrals to those around you.
The Scorched Earth Networker Will Fail
Building your business through word-of-mouth is about cultivating relationships with people who get to know you and trust you. People do business with people they have confidence in. It’s not what you know, or who you know, it’s how well you know them that counts. If you go into this process understanding Scorched Earth Networking, you will have a better opportunity to build your business through word-of-mouth.
When you are networking, are you creating relationships by building your social capital or are you leaving a scorched earth behind you?