Why Do You Network?

I have a series of surveys on networking up at my company website. One of them asks, “What is your primary objective for networking?” I have to admit I’m a little surprised that 75 percent of the responses were for “new business” (see below). I would have guessed that would be the largest percentage, but I didn’t expect it to be that high.

I understand that most entrepreneurs and salespeople network to some extent for all three reasons (new business, education, career advancement), but I didn’t realize that most networked primarily for new business.

What are your thoughts about networking for new business, education or career advancement?

14 thoughts on “Why Do You Network?

  1. What about networking to expand your contacts in order to offer additional resources to your existing network? For me, networking isn’t as much about getting new business as it is about increasing my overall value to my existing clients. By being a connector for them, they value me more and will continue to come back. Oh, and will likely refer additional NEW business to me as well!

  2. This is not a surprise. It is, however, very interesting, and it prompts me to ask just how many of the online business networks, based around social networking methods, serve the needs of those who are networking advocates, as BNI members clearly are?

    Yesterday I responded to your other blog post on social networking and between us we produced a list of four online business-focused social networks. I would be VERY interested to hear your thoughts Dr Misner on just how well each of those we came up with serve the needs of “new business”:


    My thoughts? The first two serve to assist with career advancement very well — they are a big database of CVs posted online after all, and recruiters are the only people paying for top level membership of LinkedIn. Ecademy serves the need for education, as it has great forums and clubs where members can meet interesting people. I am prepared to accept it could assist with career progression, but in my view it requires too long to see a return when you measure new business.

    It’s not fair for me to comment on my own website, but I would be very interested to read the thoughts on anyone reading this who’s a member as to how we deliver on the objectives detailed above.

    Ian Hendry

  3. I am a recent college graduate, and I recently started a business. I use networking to make connection that will benefit my business and my readers. My take on networking is this: Be polite to everyone, but only make an effort to connect with those people that will be able to provide advice or resources for you in the future.

  4. 75% doesn’t surprise me at all. I run a Business Networking site too and people use the site to improve their situation. I’m sure it’s the same for Linked, Xing, and other business networking sites. If you want to move up the corporate ladder, start a new business, or attract new clients, the next step is to meet new people.

  5. My primary objective for business networking is growing relationships. When you genuinely learn about other people’s business and how to help them, the natural “side effect” is new clients for you as well. It’s not so much in the numbers of people that you network with, but the quality of the connection that you develop with them. My perspective is from an entrepreneurial point of view. Corporate business may have different parameters for growth.

  6. I am surprised the only 75% of the respondents looked at networking to acquire new business. Every minute is precious to me, as an opportunity to acquire new business. In todays high paced world you fall behind quickly in production if you do not spend most of your waking time looking for opportunities. Helping others succeed pays its dividends. Networking is a sharing experience to attain mutual gain.

  7. Depending upon the individual businesses and profressions networking is used as a tool.But primarily it is for enhancement of existing business or careers.
    On the otherhand people do network to find out more opportunities coupled with establishing contacts for new avenues.To understand the availability of new resources and practices and I do feel people try to update themselves in shortest possible time with remarkable amount of gain.

  8. The survey results are not unexpected as the neccesity of networking will increase towards the 100% if it involves new products or services and on the other hand it can drop towards 50% or less if the intention of networking is to increase market share or sales of existing products & services. As time involved for networking is a key factor for a decision of allocating the required time vs the expected results? Therefore it will be a time management decision and a little like sowing to reap later.

  9. In todays context NETWORKING is a must wherther is it online/offline.
    Without networking no activity like financila/social/marketing/business extends.
    Those who are able to utilize the capacit of networking living their desired life.
    Of course Mostly do network for career development,for new venture/opportunities set up,marketing product etc etc.
    If networking can mould our life/career and help us to reached NEXT LEVEL then why we not INVEST TIME on NETWORKING.
    The word NETWORKING seems to be different still some part of this world. So the Word should be REVOLUTIONIZED.
    Thanks to Dr.I .Misner for his networking effort and exposing us a little bit of its power

  10. I don’t think of networking so much for new business right off the bat but to make new contacts and build relationships first then the new business will come from the relationships you build and the network that you expanded.

  11. I am not surprised that 75% is the number you came up with. It seems that more business, more sales, more success is always the motivating factor in business networking. I run a small career information website that provides company insight outside of networking.

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