The Top 4 Reasons You’re Avoiding Networking
Late September 2015, Avoiding the Networking Disconnect: The Three R’s to Reconnect, my new book co-authored with Brennan Scanlon was released to the public. So many business people walk into a networking event with the intention to sell, and they never are trying to buy. When you’re in a room full of people, all trying to sell their products and services, but nobody is buying, this is essentially the networking disconnect.
Along with explaining this disconnect, and many other topics, Brennan and I also go into the top four reasons most business people avoid networking. To learn more about connecting over disconnecting, be sure to pick up a copy of our book.
Lack of Confidence
Many people fear not being able to contribute in a networking setting. More confident and experienced networkers can intimidate newbies in the crowd. Fear of rejection and an apprehension toward new contacts can also hinder one’s confidence in the networking arena.
These are all mindsets. So many businesspeople identify as an introvert, but are able to get themselves out of their own heads and put themselves out there in the name of building their business.
Being Too Busy
No matter what business you are in, sometimes it can just feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. With work, your family, and your friends, do you really have time for any more commitments? Especially something as trivial as networking? You might think no, but the answer is yes, you should! If you want your business to grow, you’ve got to make time for networking.
We all have 24 hours in a day, and seven days in a week. People who seem like they have everything balanced simply don’t have more time in the day than you do, they just prioritize things more than you do. People will always, 100 percent of the time, make the time to do what is important to them. Make networking and growing your business one of those priorities.
Networking is like farming, because it is about cultivating long term relationships to help your business grow. There is some, but minimal, immediate return on your time investment, but any large reward will take a while to begin rolling in. You need to dedicate the time to build your relationships so that your contacts trust you and are more willing to help you. Don’t let impatience get in your way of growing your business.
Lack of Understanding
Despite all the obvious pros to networking, there is still so much misunderstanding about the true gain to be had here. Many believe networking is about selling, which goes right back to our networking disconnect. Networking is something that you do with people, not to people. Walking up to someone and introducing yourself and asking to do business with them is not networking, it is direct selling, plain and simple. Understanding what networking is and how to do it effectively is step one of the journey.
Leave me a comment in the field below if you are guilty of avoiding networking. What are you going to do to turn that around?
6 thoughts on “The Top 4 Reasons You’re Avoiding Networking”
Dr. Misner I understand and embrace your four points, a momentary lapse or two notwithstanding. Intellectually we are simpatico but emotionally networking feels like too much fun to be work and I find myself rationing it so that i may keep my nose to the grindstone, so to speak. In short, it does not feel like real work! Thoughts?
PR – BNI Nashville
When we are enjoying what we do – it doesn’t feel like work. That said, I think it is important for people to understand that networking involves a level of effort. I’ve always felt that the “secret to success without hard work – is still a secret!”
My biggest problem is finding time to do One 2 Ones to really work on the relationships that result in referrals ( both ways). I work in Sydney downtown while my BNI group is in the suburbs where I live. I am planning on really carefull scheduling One 2 Ones when I am working from home and giving them the priority that appointments with any of my other clients get.
I love networking, meeting people and even be off topic from my business, but just learn about them. For me its always learn what they do, and see if they are a right fit as a source of referrals. My concern is those who see you approach and they think you are going to sell to them, so they immediately switch their eye contact or excuse themselves quickly. I find them to be the easier catch when i meet them the second time. Hhahha
Concentrating on being more INTERESTED than INTERESTING helps keep my focus where it needs to be, on the other person and what fuels their passion for what they do. I believe that a slow dance develops trust, and trust builds relationships. I also believe that we are wise when we not only listen, but truly hear.
Thank you for providing this forum to share my thoughts.
My problem is I cannot find enough networking events. We are in a smaller town and not a lot goes on. I do want to join my local chamber but right now it’s just not do-able. I’d like some advice on how to find networking events.