Do You Know How to Network Effectively?

by : Patricia Brucoli

In the context of people doing business, the true meaning of the word networking, is to know and be known without an agenda. There are some lines you don't want to cross or you will not achieve the result you may have anticipated.

The idea is that you build a relationship. You allow yourself to share your thoughts and feelings, although you want to keep those on the positive side. You make an effort to know the other person and what their interests are.

Your attitude should never be one that illicit's a feeling that you are being patronizing. You should be genuine in your casual interest. Don't rush or push it. Nothing more obnoxious than someone who has no boundaries or is presumptuous. Always be polite and respectful. Be open, but don't let it all hang out. This might be your new best friend, but right now you are a stranger.

Some of the rules of networking are pretty rigid, though. Such as even to offer your business card too soon can be seen as a blunder. I will never forget back in the day when the networking concept was coming into play, when someone said, 'let's do lunch'. I was so naive I actually called the person to make a date for lunch. They were like 'who?'

I have heard for a long time that networking is THE best way to find a good job or opportunity. It seems that only undesirable jobs or one's that can't be filled hit the classified ads. With the advent of online employment 'boards', the classifieds are even more so the dregs. So, I suppose that means that if you know someone who knows you, and then an opportunity arises, they will naturally consider you and want to help you. This is very different than meeting someone for the first time when you want something from them.

Networking in the internet marketing field is not too far off from this. No one likes in your face advertising or running from the Avon lady in the family because you will be made to feel obligated to buy something you don't particularly want. You don't have much ability to meet the good folks that comprise your 'list', considered by some to be the heart and soul of any business. None the less, there are other ways to establish relationship.

One concept in the context of establishing a relationship of trust, is that of giving away information. Possibly for quite some time giving away free information and maybe only extremely subtly including any reference to what it is you are actually selling. The idea is that subliminally, since you have been generous by sharing freely with them, something that they value, they will grow to trust you. Should they ever decide to make a purchase, they may feel that they owe it to you to give you the sale. Pretty logical, if you ask me.