Networking is a business activity that usually gets misunderstood. A few bad experiences can give people a bad impression about what networking is and what it can do for you. Below are three of networking's biggest misunderstandings.
1. Networking is about sales - When attending events, you probably are approached by several people who introduce themselves and then try to sell you on their services. Networking should be about relationship building first. Sales come later after trust and credibiity are formed. Too many people at events are in sales mode. Because of this, networking gets a bad reputation.
2. Networking is about a transaction - Similar to meeting salesy people, networking is much more than a transaction or one time encounter. In fact, networking should really be considered relationship building. Getting to know others and building trust and comfort are extremely important. The more you get to know others over time, the more good things will come your way.
3. Networking is a waste of time - Like anything in life, you need to devote time and energy to get a benefit. Networking is all about effort. Relationship building is a process that takes place over time. It takes years to develop relationships. Once you establish mutually beneficially relationships, the sky's the limit on what could happen. It is better to have a few quality relationships than a lot of meaningless relationships.
What other networking misunderstandings can you think of?
What are some other joys of relationship building?