Networking for the Sake of Networking
Are you on Linkedin or Facebook? And, do you have lots and lots of friends or connections? Some of us may feel the pressure to be well-connected with volumes of people online. But, does the quantity of contacts really mean anything and what is the point? So, with our abundance of contacts, where has that taken us, anyway?
Long before the existence of Linkedin and Facebook , we maintained business card and Roladex files. To me, just going through the motion of collecting names, phone numbers, and business cards without putting much thought into it, didn’t work well back then and it really doesn’t work well even in today’s online world. My simple brain told me years ago that someone had to have a compelling reason to do you a favor as in returning a favor or expecting something of value in the future.
Gordon Curtis in his book, Well Connected sums it up more eloquently than I have. Here’s the essence of it.
Curtis says, you have to target the right person and apply the right approach, . Both parties need to reach an outcome that is beneficial to both of them. A-ha. So, I wasn’t too far off. He states several criteria necessary in order for networking between two parties to work. The keywords he uses are ” like-minded”, “obligated”, “motivated” and “able”. Without those, it’s highly unlikely someone will do anyone else a favor or enter into a deal.
Networking to achieve results requires a well-planned strategy. So, develop your objectives and desired outcomes. When you identify potential networking candidates, learn something about them, figure out how you are going to reach them (necessary introductions) and what you are going to say. Down the road, even look for ways you might reciprocate in advance.
For a more detailed explanation about how to network more effectively, I highly recommend the book, “Well-Connected.”