One of the greatest writers of our times by the name of Maya Angelou left a quote that has outlived her. It says that people may never remember what you said or did as much as how you made them feel. This is a very weighty quote and one that anyone aspiring to build a network should bear in mind. A lot of emphasis has been put on the need to network in order to build lasting personal relationships, business relationships as well as professional relationships. This is true but networks in themselves cannot grow or last if an individual does not build meaningful relationships. First impressions and lasting impressions are all very key. This article will outline the importance of networking relationship building.
The best way to understanding the importance of networking is to know that when you need a top plumber, mechanic, insurance agent, surgeon or an alarm system service provider, you will rely on referrals. One feels more confident when a friend, relative, colleague, associate or neighbor recommends a reliable service provider. Although many a time it is advised that one relies on online reviews, there is greater confidence in knowing that a person you know, has gotten great service from the provider they are recommending. Without a network, one will grapple in the dark and work twice as hard to find what you need in your personal or professional life.
The best way to build a network and to stick into the minds of your contacts is to build genuine relationships with them. This can be on a personal or professional level. Many people make personal contacts by attending functions that are of interest to them or through social media. On the other hand, professional contacts can be achieved by attending conferences, seminars and trade fairs with an intention to meet new people and to connect with them. Once a contact has been established, it is important to take a sincere interest in the people in one’s network. This can be done by checking on them from time to time, through social media, or sharing of knowledge-based information such as newsletters. This simply means that when conducting a business transaction, one should take a moment to find out how the client is fairing on as opposed to taking a quick order and dashing off.
Some of the building blocks to lasting networking relationships is regular communication, exposure, keeping in touch and being a good listener. It has often been said that social media is the modern-day campfire. However, it is important for one to come out of their cocoon and arrange for facetime contact. This can be done through a business lunch date, a cup of coffee or a phone call. When a job or business opportunity arises, a contact will think of a person they have gotten to know and one that is in close contact with them. Being a good listener helps in understanding the other person. In turn, it can develop a mutual similarity between diverse parties.