Networking is Necessary…
As much as some of us may not like to admit it. However, we’ve been to enough networking events to know that they’re not all created equally and not everyone is good at this particular business essential. So, we’ve put together our top tips for how to network well and what it really is and isn’t. Let’s start with the negative because it’s always better to end on a high note, right?
What Networking Isn’t
This is super important because the people who do this usually don’t get too far with whatever they’re selling. Networking is NOT killing everyone you meet with a hard sales pitch and then following up every day at 8am on the dot. We’re all in the same boat at a networking event.
We get it.
You work for your company. You believe in your company. But that doesn’t mean we want to feel cornered by your sales pitch and hounded for a meeting every day. That approach will make you more enemies than friends and you’ll become the one that everyone avoids rather than the one everyone wants to be friends with.
What Networking Is
It’s establishing a long term influence in the city you work in. The purpose of networking isn’t profit, it’s relationship. Get those two things mixed up and you’ll lose more than just the respect of your peers.
How to Network Based on This Model
So, if networking is about relationship, not sales, what does that really look like?
It looks like thinking big picture. A great relationship will connect you with all their friends. You need to care more about the next 5 years, and how you can lay your foundation of influence, and less about how to hard sell each person you meet.
Ever went to lunch with someone thinking they just wanted to catch up and you ended up sitting there listening to them pitch their pyramid scheme for two hours? Not great. You tend to not want to hang out with that person ever again. Same thing with networking.
Ask what you can do for those you meet. Any connections they need to make? Events they would benefit from? First, it’s always nice to be owed a favor. Second, they will usually ask you back. Connection connection. You don’t need to eat everyone in the room. Just connect with a few, connect them with your people, and they’ll connect you with more. Isn’t that the whole point of networking anyway?
Good Networking Leads to Relationship
At its core, Wolf & Key exists to create positive relationships. Networking is exactly the same.
How do you network? What are the most effective ways you’ve found to network well? Let us know!