How Networking Works in Business
Despite the many benefits of networking, many managers set out to prioritize it and soon find themselves derailed by the first crisis. In Harris Roberts’s case, he needed a wider network to become the business unit manager of a major new drug. In an effort to expand his network, he volunteered to be the liaison for his business school cohort’s alumni network. Unfortunately, the process of getting the new drug approved for marketing overwhelmed him and he soon found himself out of touch and unresponsive. As the process continued, Harris Roberts became an ineffective and functional manager.
Be positive when networking
Optimistic people naturally exude positive qualities. Such people are excellent additions to business networks because they can help keep you on track, provide constructive criticism, and identify suitable employees for your company. Such individuals can also provide constant encouragement and reality checks whenever you need them. They can be an invaluable support system if things get tough. So how do you be positive while networking in business? Here are some tips for your benefit.
First, keep a positive attitude. People will like you more if you have a positive attitude. They will be more likely to associate with you, work with you, and recommend you to others. A positive attitude will draw others to you and give you a chance to make their business more successful. This will not only create more referrals for your company, but will make others feel comfortable doing business with you. If you want to be a positive leader, follow these tips.
Second, remember to be genuinely pleasant. It is important to make networking as pleasant as possible. People want to do business with people who share the same enthusiasm. Being friendly and cheerful will help you achieve this goal. A positive atmosphere in a networking group will help you build connections with other people. When you network with other professionals, make sure to be genuinely friendly and focused on your purpose. Whether you are attending a networking event, networking is the best way to improve your business.
Be a ‘farmer’ not a ‘hunter’
The most effective networkers balance the time they spend meeting people and spending time helping those in their network. While a hunter will focus on planning and executing meetings, a farmer will focus on helping the people they have already met. As you change networking goals, you will need to balance being a hunter with being a farmer. But it’s not a hard choice. Here’s how to do it:
A farmer is a great listener. He takes the time to learn about the people behind the businesses he interacts with. He also understands that not everyone he meets will become a member of his or her network. It’s okay if a relationship only reaches the ‘know’ stage. Farmers listen to gain loyalty, but they also keep the conversation flowing.
Those who are ‘hunters’ are constantly seeking out new clients. While a hunter is often eager to meet new people, they’re more likely to alienate others by trying to make sales as quickly as possible. The key to networking success is to cultivate relationships, build trust and knowledge, and reap referrals. Be a farmer, not a hunter, and you’ll be a much more successful networker.
Farmers are also very helpful. Farmers take the time to nurture others and help them grow. They don’t have the self-assurance to approach people alone; they prefer to build relationships with other professionals. They will eventually grow into independent businesses. But the trick is not to sell yourself! Be an active listener, cultivate relationships, and share your knowledge and expertise. If you’re not willing to nurture them, your network won’t be able to see the value of your ideas.
Be a ‘giver’ not a ‘taker’
If you want to be successful in business networking, try to be a ‘giver’ rather than a ‘taker’. A giver is a resource who can help others achieve their goals, without having to beg for assistance. A giver is a professional who is sincere and knowledgeable in their field. He expects referrals in the future. On the other hand, a ‘taker’ is a doormat who is not interested in collaboration and adds little value to others’ comments.
Unlike ‘takers’, ‘givers’ are more willing to learn from mistakes. A giver is more likely to accept input from others and is willing to change when the circumstances demand it. A ‘taker’ is afraid to change a bad decision or refuses to admit it. A ‘giver’ is likely to change his approach when needed, enabling the business to be flexible and responsive to changing circumstances.
Whether you are in business or not, the idea of a ‘giver’ is powerful. It’s a proven fact that the more people you know, the more likely you are to find help and connections. By practicing this principle, you can help others and earn the trust of people in your network. It is also a great way to make new contacts and strengthen existing relationships.
If you’re not a taker, you’ll struggle in business networking. Takers squander their connections, while ‘givers’ create value and a positive feedback loop. And givers can soar – in business and in life. The problem is that ‘takers’ dominate the bottom of the career ladder.
As a ‘giver’, you won’t have to worry about being taken advantage of by others. If you don’t offer them what they need, they’re probably just not worth your time. So don’t be a ‘taker’ when you’re networking in business. If you’re not a ‘taker’, don’t be afraid to say no to those who ask you for help.
Be a ‘hard contact’
Becoming a ‘hard contact’ in business networks requires a commitment to cultivating a diverse list of connections. Hard contact networks produce more quality referrals, and they require more time to cultivate, but they are the best option for businesses with a longer sales cycle. This type of network allows businesses to develop deeper relationships and trust, which in turn leads to more referrals.