Building your strategic network isn’t easy. Some people struggle to know what to do or how to get started. We all know it’s a necessary part of the business if we want to be successful.
In today’s post we’ve done some research into the way business experts approach networking.
5 experts share their networking tips
When it comes to entrepreneurialism and business success, we can’t go past Richard Branson. He has a common-sense approach to business that’s easy to follow. Here’s what he says about networking.
“Business is all about personal contact. No matter how heavy your workload is, do not allow yourself to work in your cubicle or office all day, every day – for your own well-being and the health of your business, you need to get out and about, meeting people and developing relationships. If you discuss a work matter with an employee or a potential client over coffee rather than simply sending over an email, you’re more likely to build rapport, which will be useful if you ever need to tackle any problems together.
Business is all about personal contact. No matter how heavy your workload is… everyone can and should be a networker.”
So, Branson believes we need to build relationships in business as in life. This very human approach has worked well for him so he’s obviously onto something. Why not try it?
You might not know of Sallie Krawcheck but after being one of the most senior women on Wall Street, she is now the CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest. Like Branson, she also takes a very human approach to networking.
“My advice for folks on networking is give, give, give. You will later receive. But you are really planting these seeds. Some of them will die, and they won’t become anything. Many of them will take many, many years before they pay off for you if at all. “
Great networking isn’t about finding people who can help you get what you want; it’s about helping them meet their needs, too. Giving is the best way to establish a real connection and the way it’s received will help you identify the genuine people. You’ll be an asset to each other.
This might be another name unknown to you, but Keith Ferrazzi is the author of “Never Eat Alone” and “Who’s Got Your Back?” Both books tackle the subject of building business relationships.
Ferrazzi is not a fan of formal networking events because he believes they are “for the desperate and uninformed.” Instead, he focuses on building relationships organically. In other words, network wherever you happen to be.
“… always lead with generosity. If you show someone how the relationship benefits them, with no expectations for quid pro quo, you pave the way to open it up to more candour and intimacy.”
If there’s one clear theme springing from these experts, it’s all about being human and generous. It’s about being authentic and real, rather than looking to feather your own nest. And that makes sense. After all, who would want to build a relationship with someone who sicks all the good out of you?
Be real. Be yourself. Think about how you can help the person you’re talking to.
That’s networking in a nutshell.
I’d love to know what you think about these expert’s opinions. If you’re looking for more tips take a look at my latest eBook on the website to build your network and make it work for you.
Leave us a comment below and let’s start a good conversation on the topic.