Relationships exist to provide a symbiotic basis for mutually beneficial cooperation between two people, groups or organizations.
There are two forms of networking:
- Networking through Affinities.
- Networking through Relationships.
Affinity relationships can create opportunity for business networking
Networking is an important winning catalyst. It unlocks doors to good business opportunities through business connections and new contacts. It connects us to economic and political empowerment and helps to develop our knowledge through information sharing and management.
Where to Network?
- Social circles such as clubs, parties, events, games arena, shows, old boys/old girls etc.
- Professional and business circles such as seminars/workshops for socialized groups, managers, entrepreneurial, teachers, doctors, policy makers, chambers of commerce etc.
- Political circles: Aligning with political parties, political bigwigs, and technocrats in political power.
- Religious circles such as churches, mosques, etc.
Networking is about being genuine, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others. Below are Six (6) tips to building connections through networking:
- Preset your goals before going for networking meetings and pick groups/programs to help you achieve the goals
- Hold volunteering positions in social/economic organizations and stay visible
- Call those you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa; you may get together and share ideas
- Always have Business Cards with you, and more importantly always get a business card from the person you are talking to. Having their card to follow up with is far more valuable than they having yours.
- Always wear a name-tag or ID-Card; people never forget names easily. It is a natural conversation starter
- Don’t prejudge your audience. The person you are talking to might not need your product or service but he will invariably know someone who can.
- Be very specific when asking for referral.
Women are less willing to give quality referrals and business to strangers but can cultivate relationship very quickly. Psychological studies show that both men and women are less threatened by contact with a female stranger.
Benefits of Networking
Networking is the best marketing strategy tool to grow market share and increase value. Networking increase individual social contacts and economic empowerment potentials. It is also used as positioning strategy to achieve a yet-to-be determined objective
Nothing is simple anymore. Nothing is stable. The business environment is changing before our eyes rapidly, radically and perplexingly.
– James Champy