Many people have many ideas about what networking is and what it can mean for them and their business if they have one. Some people often hear when asked what are here thoughts on networking is this “I tried it once it didn’t work”. This is common to here and yet so far from the real truth.
I mean, networking is what you make it right? We all network without even self-consciously thinking about it, that new person you met yesterday randomly perhaps – that’s networking. That friend of a friend who added you on LinkedIn – Networking. That conversation you had with a girl on the tube- networking. You get the idea.
My understanding is this, networking is not specifically something you do but its’ something we all do all the time. From as basic as a simple conversation to your high-end corporate business events- it’s all networking.
When people say they tried networking and it didn’t work it could mean many things,
- 1. They don’t know how to sell themselves - after-all business often boils down to how well you can sell yourself or the company you work for.
- 2. They didn’t like the style of networking.
- 3. They literally mean they tried it once and gave up.
Lets break these down some more:
1. They don’t know how to sell themselves.
If you take a moment to look at your phone or watch, do you remember the sales person that sold it to you? How about the shop or city you were in? If you do that’s because you remember the conversation or scenario that took place. Why is this? A lot of human activity comes from the brain- we all know this so my guess is we remember it because we labelled it in some way to an emotion or feeling. If you associate anything with a good or bad experience you with identify with this using your self-conscious and make decisions based on these feelings and emotions. Essentially this is know as emotional selling.
What does this mean for networking?
‘If you associate networking as a pleasant experience you are going to do it more and vice-versa”. So when bob down the road says networking didn’t work for me – it’s due to his emotions, his feeling and his self-consciousness around his own perception of networking".
2. They didn’t like the style of networking.
Networking is like crisps! Yes you read that correctly. Let me explain.
You have a multi bag of different flavoured crisps
Favourite crisps are familiar and conformable
All your favourites are gone leaving your least favourite ones left
You have lack of effort to go to shops and get some your actually like
You decided to eat your least favourite packet of crisps due to pure hunger and you don’t like to waste food. You are either pleasantly surprised or still disappointed.
Congratulations you ate your least favourite packet of crisps
When you next go shopping you re-buy some crisps maybe the same or maybe different
You repeat this Repeat cycle
3. You literally mean you tried it once and gave up
If you tried networking and didn’t like it you should try another just like you would re-buy another packet of crisps. Networking can seem scary and overwhelming and some high end corporate events can be but unless you want to fail at business or go on a diet from crisps –why not go for it!
Networking events can be very different and are suited to different types of business and individuals. For example some events are for business that have been running for over 5, 10 or 15 years. Some are a casual meal and chitchat. Some are just a conversation with a stranger. Find out what you’re suited to by attending many different styles, often from attending one corporate networking event you can often get introductions to others.
Anything to share? Comment bellow.
Written by Emily Clark at Clarkeleondesign.studio offering graphic design and photography services to everyone.