Business networking is leveraging your business and personal connections to bring you a regular supply of new business. The concept sounds simple, doesn't it? Don't let that fool you, though. Because it involves relationship building, it can be a deceptively complex process.
Think about it. How many people do you know? How many of these people truly understand what you do? How many of these folks have directed prospects to you as referrals? And how many of those referrals have actually turned into business?
Business networking is much more than showing up at networking functions, shaking a lot of hands and collecting a bunch of cards.
For example, imagine two people attending an event, sizing it up and drawing an imaginary line down the middle. They separate, each taking half the room. At the end of the event, they meet again to see who's collected the most business cards.
Have you met these people? Sure you have. We all have. What did they accomplish? They collected a lot of cards that will end up on a shelf, in a drawer, in the trash, or -- worse yet -- scanned into a computer so they can spam everyone they just met. Why? What does a business card represent? It's a piece of paper, with ink and images on it. No relationship has been formed. This networking strategy, by itself, isn't an effective use of time, money or energy.Some people get frustrated with networking because they seem to be making as much progress as a rear-wheel-drive truck on an icy hill: one foot forward, 10 feet back -- getting nowhere fast.