Why Are You Networking?
Updated: Nov 10
Why do you go networking?
Really. What's the point?
Do you go to try and sell stuff? Or maybe because your boss told you to go and book in appointments? Or is it because when you started your business people said you should so you did, and you just kept going?
If you don't know why you're going networking then you're probably wasting your time. I know that sounds harsh, but unless you know the purpose of it how can you expect to achieve anything, never mind measure your ROI!
The most obvious purpose of networking is to make sales: to tell people about your product or service so they buy it. Simple. However, if you're going to networking events with the mind set of selling you may be doing more harm than good.
You see no one wants to be sold to when they first meet you, it's one of the reason door-to-door sales people are something of the past. It takes time to build trust, especially when it comes to purchasing higher value products, therefor building positive relationships needs to come first.
So forget selling. Networking shouldn't be about selling.
So why do you go networking?
To build relationships then. You go networking in order to build relationships so then you can sell to people. Makes sense!
But how do you build relationships? It takes 3 times of meeting someone for them to remember who you are and what you do, so building relationships takes time. It can take a very long time.
Is there a way we can speed up the process? There may just be....
Going into a networking event with the aim of building relationship is a powerful mindset to have - going into a networking event with the aim of helping the people you meet is probably the most powerful mindset you can have!
You'll start listening to what people have to say (and I mean really listening), you'll start asking insightful questions to better understand them and their business, and you'll inadvertently learn from them. You'll learn a lot from them! Then once you understand what they do you'll come up with ways you can potentially help them, and they will love you for it!
It will completely change the way you network.
You'll build trust faster, you'll create a positive personal and professional brand as someone who's valuable to know, and you'll quickly see referrals coming back to you with little to no effort. You'll literally have an army of people in the business community who sing your praises every chance they get, and all by changing your reason for networking.
So rather than going to a networking event with the goal of making 3 sales or booking 3 appointments, go with the goal of trying to help 3 people and just see what happens.
Want to learn more about strategic networking? Take a look at another great blog: What is a 'Networking Strategy'?