Networking has a bad reputation in the marketplace because people automatically associate the term with sales. In reality, it's the opposite. It's about creating relationships. However, people often make mistakes because they don't realise that there is good and bad networking and that there is a formula for building connections. Firstly, you should ask yourself: how can I create a connection with someone, with depth, without it being too personal, while maintaining professionalism, so that we can connect faster?
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ome of us network with the wrong people, in the wrong places, say the wrong things, and end up wasting time. Keep these five principles in mind so you can build connections and strengthen lasting working relationships:

  1. Everyone likes to be helped, but no one likes to be sold to

The first mistake in networking is overselling. I don't hand out business cards because it's a transaction. First of all, you have to get to know the other person. In this way, you need to listen. You have two ears and one mouth - use them proportionally. A good networker is someone who listens,understands and then tries to make a connection that helps the other person. If you help someone, you get something back.

  1. People are looking for more authenticity and vulnerability

In these times when more and more people are losing connections, it is extremely important to look for different ways to connect and communicate. People are looking for leaders who can make deeper connections with their audiences. So whether you're in sales, trying to recruit teams, or looking for new investors, the power of telling a story and connecting that narrative to the needs of the person you're talking to is more crucial than ever. Don't be afraid to tell your story. But always with a purpose.

  1. Create contacts with a purpose

Networking is about connecting people in the right position, with the right mindset, to create something better for the world. You should pay attention when you are developing your network of contacts, because it is by meeting people with the same passions, aligning different perspectives, that you can create something with purpose. Often you meet people by accident, but it is very important to do your homework: look at LinkedIn, see who is positive, well-spoken, says the right things and who connect with your story.It is not difficult to find people who align with your vision. Social networks are the largest contact base in the world! Remember: relationships are first based on social, then perhaps on business.

  1. Create a win-winrelationship

One thing to always keep in mind: you never sell to the contact network. If you try to sell something, the relationship will break down. You must have a collaborative relationship, based on mutual help in your respective businesses. There is not just one side. Being honest and direct is much more effective.It is better to say: "From now on, I am not going to try to sell you anything, and there is no point in trying to sell me anything. However, I am comfortable opening up my network if you are willing to do the same. Let's work collaboratively rather than competitively. I emphasise: this is not a short-term relationship, but a long-term mutual growth.

  1. Don't forget the 5-person rule

We are the average of the five people we associate with. So in a networking context, if you are the smartest person in a room, you are in the wrong room. In results-oriented networking, you shouldn't try to connect with millions of people, because you won't have time to build those relationships or maintain communication. That's why the five-person rule is so useful: it's better to have five people working together regularly than trying to manage 30 or 40. And if those people have strong relationships with your five contacts, you'll have an exponential impact. So remember: invest in quality, not quantity.

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Connect, Communicate & Network with Purpose?
Published in 
15/6/2021
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