Why You Should Network
We all know networking is useful to meet new people and grow your circle. But why should you network?
Six degrees of separation!
The six degrees of separation rule says that there are never more than six people between you and the person you want to talk to or know. Networking can help you reach these people who seem to be “inaccessible.” Connecting yourself and getting into other people’s circles will get you further rather than to just sit back and work with your limited resources.
Return on investment.
Networking is a return on investment in most cases. It allows you to engage with different people and build a rapport for yourself and your business. Financially and non-monetary, networking can help your business and add value to yourself. You will build up more clientele, a following and opportunities. If there is one piece of valuable advice I have always been given from established professionals, it was “network, network, network.”
Networking takes time. It’s not an instant connection, you must build good rapport and establish a relationship. The Hip Haus runs from 5pm-9pm, that’s a four-hour window to engage with multiple young professionals, but networking doesn’t end there at the end of the night. Follow up, stay in touch, stay relevant. You may not have met a stupendous contact like you were hoping to, (but that’s not always the case,) sometimes it takes time for people to open up, people are always developing and growing and may be able to connect you to other direct contacts in positions you need in your network. Human relationships are not usually an instant connection, but they are most valued.
Is networking more important than everything else?
No. Think about how you need to sleep, eat and breathe to survive. Now think about how your business needs a supply for a demand and the market for that demand. And now think about how your market comes to know about you, through more than one outlet. SEO, networking, social media and more. These outlets are your essential needs for your business to survive in today’s world just like you yourself need multiple resources to survive.
Leads & Referrals
If you work in sales or your business is in need of generating more leads and sales, networking can help you a great deal by getting your information out there and already establishing a human connection with several people. Now with building that impressive rapport with a prospect, you can follow up with these leads or they may even call you a month or two down the road remembering you and what services you can offer. Just because they don’t need “it” right now, does not mean they’ll never need it. Ensure that before the conversation ends, the people you interact with know who you are, how to contact you and what you do.
Networking is just like making friends or having a group of friends. You reach out, stay in touch, be responsive to each other, help each other out and you grow closer with these helpful relationships. When you help others, they will help you. Reciprocate kindness, don’t just have a one-sided “take” type of relationship or ignore people because you don’t see how they can benefit you, you don’t know who is connected to whom. This will also become a part of who you are and people will take notice.
“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” – Albert Einstein