The goal of networking is the efficient connection to new and valuable knowledge and relationships. The exchange of valuable knowledge between individuals takes a moderate level of intimacy, while a meaningful exchange that builds relationships takes a greater level of trust. Most of us would not risk an important relationship on someone we do not know well. Networking success is predicated on participation, relating with specific individuals, developing a pool of knowledge, and then using that pool of knowledge to connect people who would benefit by meeting each other.
- Get involved - attend meetings
- Be open to interact with everyone
- Figure out who you need to get together with one-on-one
- Meet one-on-one with potential centers of influence in one anothers place of business
- Find common ground, follow up well, and build credibility
- Develop a strong understanding of the skills, capabilities, and needs of others
- Help others understand your skills, capabilities and needs
Connect the people you are meeting (centers of influence, customers, prospects, and associates) to the relationships or relationship sources they are seeking.
The glue that connects and cements each of these 4 stages is the sincerity with which we engage and assist others. Respond to others' requests to meet and return all calls and corresepondence quickly. Doing this consistently fuels your networking engine.