What is Networking? Networking is relationship building for profit.
Why do we network? We network so eventually someone we know or someone that knows someone we know will do business with us.
Why do people do business with us. Is it because we are the only person or company offering the product or service they want or need? Probably not. Is it because we have the cheapest or best product or service in the marketplace? Sometimes, but rarely. The biggest reason people do business with us or refer business to us is because they like us! Why do they like us? Generally their opinions of us are based not upon their vast knowledge of us but instead they are based upon how they feel after interacting with us. Have you ever gone to a store, car dealership or other establishment to do business and in the first 5 minutes you have already decided if you were going to purchase their product or do business with them based solely on how you feel about the person you are dealing with. There are numerous studies that state that in the top 5 reasons people do business where they do, price is usually 3rd to 4th on the list why. The number 1 reason people give for doing business with a person or company is that they liked them. Did they know them personally. Probably not. They liked them because they had a great attitude and treated them well.
Do you strictly network with people in your industry?
Everybody you come in contact with is a potential link in your network. The mailman, dry cleaners attendant, waiter or waitress, office personnel, title clerks, the people in line ahead and behind you, are all forming an opinion of you based on your actions and attitude.
Be the person that smiles at adversity. Start a conversation with the people around you. Ask about them and what they do. The conversation will usually turn to what you do. Give out a smile and a card. People will remember you and when it comes time for them or someone they know to need a service you provide, the odds are pretty good that they will call you or refer you to their own network.
Please share any stories you have regarding an interesting networking experience.