Executives, and all sorts of professionals, frequently vocalise that they hate networking. They say it makes them feel awkward and insincere. Yet others have a natural tendency towards networking as they thrive within social interactions. Whatever the mindset, in today’s world, networking is king. Consistently, research shows that professional networking is key to business opportunities, knowledge, innovation, status and authority. Professional relationships also improve the quality of work and increase job satisfaction.
Professional networking can take place at a professional event or association. It can also happen informally by connecting specific individuals via an email, LinkedIn, or a coffee. At its core, networking is about meeting new people. What sets networking apart from other social interactions is the intention. The goal for professionals is to connect and help each other in building business opportunities. At its essence, it is about creating and supporting synergies by exchanging relevant and valuable information.
Consequently, networking should be driven by the desire to build win-win cooperation. Building mutually beneficial relationships allows you and the other person to build real confidence – not the transitory joy of handing out business cards. Networking can genuinely help your business environment in many ways. And nowadays it can also be done digitally. LinkedIn is a highly effective way to network with minimal effort. Regardless, it’s important to appreciate the value of traditional networking approaches:
- Networking backs social well-being
- Networking equals higher business status
- Networking increases the innovation cycle
- Networking leads to the efficient exchange of ideas
- Networking helps interaction at diverse professional levels
- Networking boosts professional confidence and credibility
And if you are into the Business Development business then keep this in mind. Between 5 to 20% of new customers come from trade shows, and approximately 40% of prospects transition to new customers after in-person meetings. But the goal of this article is neither sales nor business development. It is to put a proper light on the subject of professional networking by identifying and emphasising that proper networking is done in a way that escalates prosperity to our society and expands possibilities for everyone involved. And by defining your higher purpose and goals for networking it will help you make the most out of it because then you will be willing to offer the most to others.