Hopefully by now I have gotten your attention on why you should network. If you missed my last article – no big deal since these reasons are not sequential. Any one of these will help you, your business, and your employer and in the process quite simply meet some fascinating people.
One of my career highlights was to meet Dumitru Dorin Prunariu– yes through networking! Mr.Prunariu shared with me the grueling training and endurance milestones he had to surpass in order to reach the pinnacle of being called an Astronaut.Like most serious professionals I have met he is bright, personable and modest – what you normally expect from a real Leader.
He was the spokesperson for our Style and Nature event and although you can’t always expect to meet someone of this caliber, Networking can bring you closer to people like Mr.Prunariu since Networking enables new opportunities.
Let me share with you another 3 reasons why you should network:
1) Sharpening the saw
Stephen Covey introduced ‘sharpening the saw ‘as one of his 7 effective habits which in other words means to always keep learning and furthering your education and skills. Networking offers a quick and easy way to do this.
The more people we get to know, the more we learn about a variety of topics. We also get wiser in the process. In fact every time I meet a new person I learn something new and I push myself to meet a new person every day for the very reason of learning something new.
2) To get the inside scoop
By networking you can gain interesting information of a particular account/prospect. Pertinent information such as insights, organizational developments and people coming into the organization or people leaving the organization. This can help you fine tune your timing of how you prospect and approach an account.
Instead of spinning your wheels with a decision maker that may be leaving (i.e. you’ve been given the inside scoop) you are best to wait a few weeks till the new decision maker comes into position.
3) Because ‘we’ve given up’.
Let’s face it: starting a business or always being at the edge of your game and winning isn’t easy. At times it’s exhilarating because you signed the deal, you surpassed the goal, you found a new client or you got the financing. Other times you feel alone, frustrated and you start questioning everything: You, your approach and your track record. This is where Networking can provide some form of ‘therapy’. The person you are speaking to can either: 1) confirm what you have been doing will eventually work if you persist, 2) relate to you that you are not alone – they have these issues too, 3) give you some tips on how to get unstuck or here’s the kicker,4) remind you of some basic truths that have worked for them or an idea that you ‘take and fly’ with it!
End result: You become energized, you feel that you are back on track and you will use that new tip starting tomorrow. Total cost: 1 hour of your time and 2 coffees. How is that for an investment?
As you can see, Networking is a key to success.
The next time you are invited at a conference, event or social function consider taking a pro-active approach to Networking. You may very well meet Dumitru Prunariu or someone as fascinating!