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Networking? Get Outta Here

4 replies
  1. Richard Finnie
    Richard Finnie says:

    Great Post!
    I agree with both your analysis and Marc Kelly’s comments. I see networking as a first step but without follow-up it is very ineffective. I find it especially humorous with people gauging their networking prowess by the number of twitter followers or LinkedIn connections they have. Thats awesome, obviously you are doing/saying something to get folks interest – but unless you are actively engaging with these people, you will be all but forgotten when the next more interesting person comes around. Relationship building is a two step process, building the contact (networking) then establishing trust (relationship). Great when used together, then can also help positively separate a business/individual from it’s peers.

  2. Marc Kelly
    Marc Kelly says:

    On the networking side, I agree with you, to a point.

    I have a developed a close group of business contacts outside of my workplace, and those have deep relationship of trust and friendship. If I was thinking of going into another business venture or otherwise, it would likely be with those guys.
    However, the way I met those individuals was with networking. It was by heading out to a number of social opportunities and connecting with like minded folks. It was allowing myself to be open to the opportunity of connecting with someone with whom I could build that relationship. Those connections wouldn’t have happened but through networking. I had to create a lot of loose acquaintance connections before finding a few people that I really clicked with.

    People tend to associate networking with concept of a formalized business setting where hands are shook, and business cards exchanged. Those situations are great, but not the only manner in which networking occurs. I am sure that your close relationships could be found from school, or activities, or whatever.

    I received a call from a friend recently that I met through a SYPE function, an organization that I am quite involved in. We talked about her career, and some people that I knew in organizations that she was interested in. While nothing has developed yet, the potential for a career changing move based on a weak connection is there.

    I think though that your final point highlights that message however. You need to take the time to go through the loose connections and find ways to build relationships. You need to try to convert points of contact to customer loyalty. While the tools of social networking allow you to create a lot of new customer contact, the trick is to convert that contact into something meaningful.

    • Linden Wilcock
      Linden Wilcock says:

      @Marc Kelly:
      Awesome comment, Marc. Much appreciated.

      I had this discussion with Brandon immediately after posting this. He posed a similar thought; that networking was the first step in relationship building. I definitely agree but decided to pit the two against each other since people often view successful networking as making that business card exchange after a brief verbal exchange at a contrived event. That’s where taking a genuine interest in someone else’s life comes in, in my opinion. That can be the auger in the quest to go deeper (weird metaphor count: 1).

      I think you summed it up perfectly by saying, “the trick is to convert that contact into something meaningful.”

      Thanks for the comment!

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