By Olga Hellweg, Owner/Travel Specialist of Global Travel Unlimited Vacations and CWCC Member
So much is written about networking in a business sense, but the true nature of networking is experienced in our daily lives, be it at home, work, social event or wherever we are at any given time.
How many times has someone asked you for a referral? A friend or relative asks you for a referral related to a personal nature. “I’m looking to upgrade my cell phone. I see you have one. Are you happy with it? What brand is it? Where did you purchase it? Are you happy with the cell phone service?” And with simple questions, come simple answers which no one finds intimidating….that’s networking.
A family member asks you where they might find an answer to a particular need or question. You either have an answer or can refer them to a significant resource for an answer….that’s networking.
So then, when the subject of networking arises in the business environment, many feel intimidated thinking they won’t have the answer or ability to provide a resource. But as has been written before, it’s about building relationships. It’s about exchanging information both on a business and personal level. We do it everyday.
In our leads group, we have 2 presentations; business and personal. The business presentation encompasses learning about the individual’s business and services. The personal allows the individual to give insight of themselves outside the realm of their business. This allows for others to network with them and provide resources other than just from a business standpoint.
Another form of networking is identifying yourself without saying a word. Have you noticed how name tags are the ice breakers for starting a conversation? And again, this can be in any environment. So why not wear one everyday when you walk out the door of your home. It’s guaranteed to catch people’s attention, if only for a glance.
And networking is not just words exchanged, but marketing yourself. Business cards are a vital piece of your business marketing strategies. It says a lot about you and your business. When you ask someone a simple question as to how they chose that business name, their answer may reflect something that had a special meaning to them. Now you’re networking on both a business and personal level.
We’re all born networkers. It’s a natural human ingredient. Use it for building relationships which is what business is all about.