When attending a networking meeting, we have a limited time to meet others and to decide whether to pursue a networking relationship with them. Remember that a networking relationship could provide you with a client, referral, both, or a partner with which you can forge a partnership which will benefit both of you. Any relationship short of that may not be the best for either of the parties involved.
Development of this type of relationship will not take place immediately, but it must be forged over time with varying efforts of the part of both parties. How do we decide whether the other party is one with which we should devote time and effort in order to attempt to develop such a relationship? There is no perfect pattern to follow; we must decide for ourselves through investigation and research.
Of course, when you meet someone you have an initial reaction to their presence and behavior. Never, ever prejudge anyone. Sometimes first impressions are correct, and sometimes they are not. In addition, there are times when the circumstances may change as time passes. The relationship that may not seem beneficial for both parties today may be so tomorrow.
Relationships must be beneficial for both parties. Networking is a two way street as is all of business. Networking relationships must be partnerships; they should not have winners and losers, but the input and outtake of the parties will vary according to need. Sometimes one partner is the strong one, helping the other. Sometimes the other partner takes the lead and aids the other, somewhat like a good marriage.
We must learn who we know, like, and trust in order to form good networking relationships. Perhaps you will know this information immediately; sometimes gaining experience and knowledge takes longer. Other times it may take many years and even more work. However, the rewards are great when we find those people who become invested in a mutual relationship built on helping each other.
Can these partnerships deteriorate over time? Of course, just like any relationship, networking relationships can become damaged as people and circumstances change. Hopefully, the relationship can survive these changes, but sometimes they cannot. A relationship that ends is a sad situation making us wonder how the circumstances can be prevented from causing a reoccurrence.
Our relationships make us better people in general; they make us successful in our business and personal lives. They can be fulfilling, and they can be educational. While they may not always be easy, they are worth our work, time, and effort to begin, grow, and maintain them. No relationship is easy, but sometimes the work seems easy due to the result over time. Never keep score and be a giver to others.
Business relationships can be the same as marriages. They both affect us personally, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Look for new partners, but never neglect your current ones. Your partners should compliment each other as well as you.
Your comments here, or your emails at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or your calls at 360-314-8691 are always welcome, even if you disagree. Who knows, your next great networking partners may be right around the next networking meeting door that you enter. Make the best impression and look for opportunities to help others.