It’s actually pretty simple.
Networking is pretty much just talking to people.
Interactions, if you like.
In fact, any kind of interaction at all is Networking.
Nothing more than that.
… and certainly nothing to get all worked up about.
Most of us do it every day.
Just talking to people is networking – getting out and socializing, meeting new people and expanding your social groups is networking.
Going out for a walk with the dog and chatting with other dog owners is networking. As is going to a business seminar and handing out your business card to as many people as possible.
Be Natural – But Respect Your Environment
Some cultures dictate different norms on the subject of networking.
For example, handing out business cards in a business environment in Tokyo in a large Japanese Corporate bank’s boardroom is a different prospect to handing out business cards at a Charity Fund-raising event in a community hall in Rio de-Janeiro.
(both the event and the culture in the Japanese example suggest business cards would be a good idea – in my experience working in Tokyo, exchanging business cards was a very common and popular thing to do – whereas the Latin American culture is much more laid back and informal, so business cards in that environment might not be such a ‘normal’ thing to do).
Both are perfectly valid business networking opportunities – but handing out business cards can be the best or the worst idea depending upon how it’s done, where it’s done, why it’s done and by whom it’s done.
In most cases, so long as you are respectful of your environment and culture, networking in a relaxed manner, without being ‘pushy’ is the way to go.
Any half decent salesperson will know that networking is extremely important and maintaining a good network of contacts is just as important as the ‘act’ of networking.
The network can do a salesperson’s work for them via referrals, leads and just the circulation of general information which supports the sales activity in question.
What If I’m Just A Regular Employee?
What about if you’re not a salesperson, nor a consultant of any kind, but just a ‘regular’ employee? Is networking still important?
The answer is YES.
Networking can get you the career move to a different more interesting area you didn’t even know existed, let alone finding out it was something you were even better at than your current job and would enjoy more.
It can get you invited to social events that you didn’t know about (“I didn’t know that the bank had a golfing association”), it can get you extra plaudits, testimonials and referrals which will impress your manager and it can get you contacts which may not be useful right away but will save you a great deal of time and energy at some point in the future when you find out that their knowledge and skills help you to perform a certain task in 5 minutes instead of 2 days.
How To Be Great At Networking
So now that we’ve covered that, what does it take to be a Great networker?
Well, I’m glad you asked, because that is what this website is all about.
Every week we’ll explore every aspect of what makes great networking, online and offline, in life and business, in casual and formal settings, whether at an ‘event’ or in the local supermarket – we’re going to cover it all, including any questions you may have about networking.
If you want to learn more, join us below so you can get the latest updates and so that we can answer any questions you may have on the subject.