Since this isn’t a tech blog (although we do advocate for the use of technology in efficient business and financial management), I’m sure you can guess that I’m not talking about the type of networking which involves routers, cables and servers. I’m talking about the type of networking platform which is attended by people who are involved in a common cause such as business, offering an environment in which they can interact with each other for possible future collaboration in common business interests.
The top brass in any enterprising organisation usually delegates the responsibility of attending something like a networking session to some lower-ranking employee whose position in the organisation ranks relatively high overall, so it’s not uncommon for someone like a middle manager to be sent to go and do a bit of networking at some networking session they’ve already committed the organisation to. Business owners, top managers, founders – these people aren’t too keen on attending networking sessions but they fully understand their importance, which is why they simply have to send someone over.
Why don’t they like networking though?
The truth is it’s not fun at all because for the most part whoever is attending is pretty much forced to interact with people who probably hold the same dislike for the process. It’s like you’re there just to go through the motions and nothing of any meaningful value comes out of what is otherwise meant to be a great platform over which to formulate new business relationships.
Done right however, a networking session could even land you some great new clients which equate to what will definitely be some welcomed business and a boost to your profits, so it’s worth investing in the skill of making full use of every single networking platform your organisation takes part in.
It doesn’t take all that much effort to turn what is otherwise a boring chore into one which will not only prove to be more profitable, but will also have you looking forward to each subsequent networking session you’ll be attending.
All you have to do is think of it as the one platform over which you are given permission to contact potential business links you’d otherwise struggle to get five minutes of time with. Making sure to pack in enough of your business cards to hand out goes without saying, even if you know for sure that each of the ones you hand out is going to end up in some or other pile of many other business cards!
The value is in using your business card as a medium of exchange for that of the person you’re interacting with. Use their details to make contact and offer them some value, however little effort you might have had to make in order to acquire that value you can pass on. Advising someone who is running a start-up on how they can generate pay stubs online won’t cost you anything for example, but in doing so you would be offering them some real value which they’ll probably want to return to you sometime in the future.