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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group

Director

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What is business networking, and why should you care?

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One of the occupational hazards of being an expert on business networking is the amount of times I find myself training professionals on how to network like a pro. Many trainers believe that this is all about what happens in the room - i.e. the work the room part of networking.

What is business networking?

OK, so what is business networking? Actually it:

is the process of finding, building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships

That means it is not:

  • about selling
  • winning business
  • working the room
  • having cosy conversations
  • giving people your business card
  •  

If you build and nurture the relationships in your network, then through your network you can do the following:

  • win business
  • build your profile
  • build your knowledge business
  • build your community
  •  

In order to build and nurture the relationships in your network, you will need your own personal networking strategy. This details the 'what' and 'how' you will do to find, build and maintain relationships to achieve your networking objectives. To help you build a networking strategy which brings you long-term, sustainable results, download our free guide to building a networking strategy.

What has changed since the advent of social media?

Not even 10 years ago, the best networkers were brilliant face-to-face networkers. They knew the right events to attend, the right people to spend time with and the right introductions to ask for. Today's brilliant networkers can do all of that. However, they are getting superior results from their networking time and activity by:

1. Using social networking sites such as LinkedIn to bypass the 'working the room' bit of networking

2. Connecting with industry influencers directly via Twitter

3. Minimising the amount of time they 'work the room', as they have already identified who they need to meet and build relationships with via the internet

Author Credit

Heather Townsend helps professionals become the Go-To-Expert. She is the author of the  award winning and best-selling book on business networking, the ‘FT Guide To Business Networking’ and the co-author of ‘How to make partner and still have a life’. Over the last decade she has worked with over 300 partners; coached, trained and mentored over 1000 professionals at every level of the UK's most ambitious professional practices.

Heather blogs regularly at Partnership Potential, How to make partner and Joined Up Networking

2 Responses

  1. Good post, although face to

    Good post, although face to face networking is very much in power, i think it will only be another 5-10 years until this is completely redundant 

  2. Face-to-face networking wouldn’t ever die

    Thank you Tom.

    I don't think that face-to-face networking will ever die or go away. It's just as important as online networking. The people who really do generate exceptional results via networking will always use a mixture of online and face-to-face methods to generate these results.

Author Profile Picture
Heather Townsend

Director

Read more from Heather Townsend
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