You must attend networking and social events, even if you don’t want to. Why?
Do you cringe when you hear the word networking? It can sometimes be an intimidating interaction, true. Maybe you simply don’t have any free time to concentrate on it. I’d suggest you make it a point to find the time and put some effort into this endeavor, for your own good and the good of your business.
It’s commonplace to hear that networking is a necessary evil to grow businesses and develop relationships which can open up new doors and avenues for potential clients and customers, also true. There are reasons this is consistently drilled into your brain. There are reasons why networking is a common topic and so many players out there are on the field. Let’s explore it a bit further and hopefully get you motivated and excited to do it.
Do the math. Without an accounting degree or even intermediate mathematical skills, one can surmise that the more people you encounter, the more likely you are to develop relationships and therefore, grow your client or customer pool. If you meet ten new people over the course of one year, it’s less likely that you’ll break open a huge vat of potential connections, in comparison to you meeting hundreds of new people annually. Basic common sense and basic arithmetic show you that meeting more people will help grow your business by growing your contact list. If you hate math, think of it as a tree. If you, the trunk, meet ten people, ten branches, you may be lucky enough to meet their contacts also, hundreds of second-level branches. If you meet a hundred people, a hundred branches, you now have a potential path to thousands and thousands of people. Learn to love numbers!
Get over it. Walking into a room full of strangers isn’t typically a comfortable situation for most. This is fear talking. Don’t succumb to this illusion. A bunch of small talk and awkwardness doesn’t have to be reality. It’s a small world. Chances are, you don’t even realize that these strangers in a room are most likely tied to you one way or another. It could be in the form of a family member, friend, religion, hobby, pet-peeve, or anything else you can image that can potentially tie you to this so-called stranger. All of a sudden, you are enjoying yourself! Walk into a room knowing that both you and these strangers are connected already. More importantly, both you and they have something to offer. You will receive contributions and connections such as lessons learned, new information, spiritual advisors, mentors, or your next best friend or lover. It’s less scary now, right? Finally, conquering your fears will make you more likely to face all aspects of your life head-on, with confidence. It’s always a good thing to earn your courage badge. Networking can help with that. Don’t fear, you’re in the clear!
Develop Social Skills
You’ll be thankful later. Developing social skills and learning anything from anyone at events will inevitably make your own life better, both personally and professionally. It will make you smarter, once you teach yourself to listen as much as you speak. It will make you more kind and understanding, once you open yourself up to listening to others’ life experiences. It will make you more tolerant, once you learn that everyone is entitled to opinions other than yours and very well may have valid points you never even thought of. It will make you a better human being in general. How can this be an intimidating, scary, or negative thing? Learning advanced people skills will positively affect your personal and business lives by learning to socially interact better, on a broader scale. Everyone around you will be happier and love you even more!
Networking is an integral part of business development and your world needs to expand in order for your business to. Remember that attending events will benefit you, your business and everyone around you.
If you are looking for specific tips to help you advance your networking skills, please take a look at the next two blogs. “Squirming at the thought of networking? Here are some suggestions for you to become a master” and “Another set of tips to make networking less painful. What you can do to be an expert in social interaction.”
Happy networking to all, and to all a goodnight!
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