Networking 101 – A Win For All

I have been asked to weigh in on networking…

I have been networking for many years in countless places, groups and organizations, over that time I have made some observations.

Rather than go into all the obvious clichés about “paying it forward” and “what goes around comes around”, I’ll jump right into some types of networking that I have experienced. By the way, like cold calling, they all have their place in the business world or they would not exist at all.

Here are my three perspectives of networking summed up in the statements below:

1-    Call “Joe” he has a project, please don’t use my name!

2-    Give “Joe” a call about this project and don’t forget to mention my name.

3-    I will call “Joe” and scheduled a lunch meeting for you to be properly introduced.

As you may have guessed the approach to networking for sales vs. business development are different. The expectation for sales networking is much shorter term as represented in the first two statements. The 3rd statement is found in conversations with deeper relationships and larger engagements which are typical in the senior business development world.

The key to success is taking the right approach and laying out the expectation. Quality in should mean quality out. Giving quality introductions should reap quality introductions, but never assume it will happen without actively pursuing your fair share.

A little secret: Many people are not comfortable about making introductions for their peers; they may feel insecure because a connection that doesn’t work will jeopardize their position. What they do not realize is that every time they make a client introduction they become a more valuable resource that deepens the relationship. The bonus, they will likely see more opportunities as a result of being client facing and top-of-mind without having to ask for more business.

Networking is a win for all, don’t do business without it.

Gary Anzalone