People have different dispositions to networking, but regardless of their opinion, it doesn’t change the fact that networking is an important business skill.
Big business leaders and owners agree that your network is your net worth. For example, some have been able to increase sales or make sales because of the people they have in their network. Once, a business owner was able to sell his business at twice the estimated market value, and this was possible because of the relationship built with the purchasing company. The process was seamless and the deal sealed fast. That’s how networking can benefit you and influence your net worth. If you sell products or services, marketing them to sell successfully will depend on your network. In the business world, these three are inseparable; marketing, selling, and networking. Let’s examine how the three works and how you build a network especially.
Increase Your Reach
Do not limit your network to a particular field or profession. Learn to expand and reach out to people in a different field. It most certainly can be comfortable to have ties with people in the same profession but when your network is wider, you benefit more. Of course, the network you build may not bring immediate benefits, regardless, it’s worth building and maintaining as it may come in handy anytime.
Keep in mind that in building a network, the process is more gradual than instant. Quid pro quo, the endgame in making effort to network is to benefit in some way. However, if you begin to build a network close to when you need it, not only will you not get the most out of it, you may even lose some relationship.
As you increase your reach, focus not only on people at your work. Expand your circle, and reach out to people beyond work.
Don’t Make Your Goal Obvious
As considered earlier, networks aren’t built in a day. It’s a relationship that takes planning and time to build. Well, apart from giving it time, you mustn’t make your plan obvious. It would be tacky to lay bare your plan to sell a service or product to your network right from the start. While you may have the goal to sell a product or service, focus on building a relationship first.
Be Beneficial and Build Trust
Offer beneficial assistance without excepting anything in return. This strategy helps to build trust. It doesn’t mean you’ll offer free service to people to gain their trust. While it’s an option to consider, more emphasis is placed on connecting people to services. For example, an individual in need of service can be connected to a provider. You’ll have earned the trust of both parties. The person you matched to the service is grateful as well as the service provider. You’d have offered a great service to both individuals.
Vary Your Approach
To gain the trust of different people, a one-way approach won’t cut it. A generalized method may not be enough. And so, you must personalize your approach and fine-tune it to suit each individual you meet. Keep in touch with your network and constantly check on them to build trust and appreciate those who have helped in the past. This keeps the relationship intact and ensures you stay on the mind of your network. One way to offer practical help is to find something shared in common with a network.
As you work to build your net worth, work on your network. Building a network takes time, so go at it gradually. Try at least one person a day — it could be an entirely new individual, keeping up with old people or reigniting fading relationships.