My trouble and strife is the world’s best networker.
She can see and make connections others in her trade just can’t do. It’s not that she’s ‘brass necked’ (although there is a tiny, tiny element of this) it’s just that she’s alive to the needs of people and likes putting them together for mutual benefit.
It’s not altogether altruistic; there’s a very real hope that the connections made will be reciprocated. And, very often, they are, which makes it all worthwhile.
Nowadays, I’m pretty sure my wife would say that networking is the lifeblood of her business… it seems to be the glue that sticks the rest of her marketing together. It’s great getting your name out there via advertising or social media, but when someone can put a face and handshake to the advert, it seems to have a hugely positive effect.
It’s probably fair to say that she’s now obsesses with networking… she has to have a regular fix of it, otherwise she starts to feel guilty that she’s not putting enough effort into her business.
That’s why she’s slightly mystified to some people’s attitude to networking events. She went to one last week. It’s an established group with many of the same people going month after month, although there are always new people going along.
So to the mystification. The people who always go only talk to each other and won’t break out of their little comfort circle to talk with people they haven’t met before.
Result: they never meet anyone new, they miss business opportunities and they end up saying things like ‘networking doesn’t work!’
If I go to a networking event with my T & S, even the social ones that are organised pretty regularly, she leaves me at the door and starts working the room… it’s a joy to watch and there’s a definite process to it.
She starts by finding and talking to anyone she hasn’t met before. She finds out what they do and who they work with. Next she considers the people in the room she already knows and decides whether there’s a connection to be made. If there is, she makes it.
Of course, it does mean that I have to do the same, otherwise I stand up against the wall like Billy Nomates, clutching my glass of wine and cheese and pineapple on a stick.