Who is in your network?
There are some extremely structured networking groups whose main focus is finding and creating referrals for the people in the room; essentially they are your extended sales team. Most of these people will attend regularly, if not required by membership, and therefore the process of getting to “know, like and trust” is accelerated.
However networking is not just about signing up and committing to a group! It doesn’t even have to be reserved for an event. Networking occurs every day, in every way (ow that rhymed!).
Your personal contact network are the people you have around you, they can include your business contacts but not exclusively. They are your family and friends, the people you drink in the pub with or those you pray with. They can be the parents of your children’s friends; they can be the person you chat with each morning walking the dog. You don’t have to have even ever met them, as of course they can be the people you are connected with over the internet, especially those on social media.
The people in your network are made up of Strong and Weak ties. Your strong ties are your friends and family, those that love and care for you and know you well. Your weak ties are for example business contacts and strangers. When growing your business, surprisingly, it is often your weak ties that will be more useful to you. As they are more likely to give honest and unbiased feedback and advice because they have no investment in your success or failure; whereas friends and family are likely to try and protect you, by telling you that your idea is brilliant because that’s what they think you want to hear, or tell you it is too risky because they want to save you from potential harm you.
This is an excerpt from a series of blogs, if you would like to receive the full article please request it here.
What are your experiences of networking? Who in your network has been most helpful for your business? If you would like to share your thoughts please comment below or join me on social media – Facebook Page, Twitter, Linkedin.