Extending Your Network
Recently, I received a friend request from a woman on social media. When I got her request, I did what I always do – checked her out. I visited her page and saw that we have 55 mutual friends and that she has a home-based business. So, I accepted the request with a short message that I accepted the request and am happy to connect. Extending your network is so important in business.
A few days later, she messaged me that she, too, was happy to connect. So being that the message had just come through, I used the opportunity to talk with her a little. I began by acknowledging the fact that we have quite a few mutual friends and asked her if she was a network marketer. Her response was vague and not really clear but she mentioned something about being in a group. So, I figured she was in a group that I was a member of too, and asked her. Her reply was a cold “yea”.
I automatically felt that this woman did not want to talk. But I pressed on. Why? Because she sent me a friend request and that is an expectation when you do….talk to the person from time to time. This is part of extending your network. So I asked her if she was looking to do that. Let’s face it, a lot of people just send requests to build their friend list and nothing more. There’s no interaction with them and their friends and I wanted to know what her intentions were. Her reply was, “well yes that is why I have started networking….” I found that to be sarcastic and again, cold. So I then I told her that she seem bothered and asked if she was not in the mood to talk. That’s when she said, “You’re asking me a lot of questions that common sense would answer.”
The reason I wanted to write about this is because there are many people out there who are unclear as to what networking is, how to do it and why do it. They don’t understand that extending your network is the foundation of their business. This woman was clearly one of them. And with this attitude, she won’t get very far.
Extending Your Network Can Happen In Two Ways
Networking is when individuals connect to learn more about each other by building relationships and developing trust. This can happen on or offline. It doesn’t start out with shoving a business card in someone’s hand and begin talking about your business or forming a useless list of friends. It usually starts out with casual conversation and, yes, asking questions, because that’s how we learn about each other. If you think learning about someone is mundane and bothersome, you should seriously think about another career.
Once a conversation gets going, it will eventually lead to, yes, more questions about what you do and what you have to offer. It is during this time when your qualities, talents, strengths, tools and credentials will be recognized. By networking, people get to know who you are and what you have to offer and even if they are not looking for what you have, at the moment, they may know someone in their circle who does. Now, you’re a valuable resource. By networking on a regular basis, you are extending your network and having a large network can only means lots of people to help and lots of possible prospects for your business.
How To Network?
Networking is a fairly easy activity. Before you attend any event, though, you have to know exactly what you have to offer and how others can benefit from your talents and strengths. You have to know your value. So, plan it out – what you want to talk about and how you can help others whether now or sometime down the road. Stay abreast of any networking activities that may be happening in your local area. You can do a search and you’ll find Meet Ups and other networking events sponsored by your local Chamber of Commerce.
Remember that when you go into a networking event, you should go with only one thought – how can I help others. When you go in with that mindframe, it’s easier to connect. You have to be genuine, open and honest. People will always remember someone who possesses these qualities. Remember that everyone has something to offer whether a secretary or a VP. It’s all about connections and who knows someone who needs what you have as well as who has something that you need or someone you know may need. And this is done right in the room as well as beyond it. During your interaction, you may realize that someone you spoke to a few minutes ago may have need of someone you’re talking to now. Connect them! Always follow up and follow through. Networking doesn’t end once you leave the room.
Why Extend Your Network?
I think it’s clear why networking is an important activity if you’re in business. Extending your network doesn’t just mean adding a lot of names on your friends’ list. It means talking to people and learning about them. It means taking a genuine interest in what they do. It means understanding how you may be able to help them or how they may be able to help you. They may know people who could use your services and vice versa.
So you see, it’s not about common sense, it’s about making sense. Building relationships, developing trust, being genuine and being sincere in wanting to know about people and how you can help them – that’s how you network and the more you do it, the more extensive your network will be.
You may be wondering what happened with the woman who requested my friendship. I told her that networking is talking to people and asking questions to get to know them and then I unfriended her.
I hope this helped you. If so, kindly leave a comment below and share on Facebook. Thank You!
Your partner on the journey,
P.S. There is an excellent professional community and educational platform that trains network marketers in all aspects of the business. CLICK here NOW to learn more about it and how you can implement what you learn to take your business to the next level and beyond!
Email Address: TeriLovelace@msn.com
“I teach network marketers top-earner secrets for building successful businesses online.”
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