Networking can be a Big Waste of Time

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If you read this title and thought, “Wait! Networking is one of the most valuable things you can do for your career. I thought building and fostering relationships would help me grow my business.” You’re right, but only if you approach networking the right way.

In my experience as a business coach, I’ve learned a lot about the dos and don’ts of networking, and I’ve also seen cases where the effort hasn’t paid off and cases where it has brought huge returns.

When You’re Wasting your Time

Successful networking brings about mutually beneficial relationships. The process brings people together, provides new opportunities and sparks relationships that help both parties. If you aren’t seeing these kinds of results, you are wasting your time with networking.

If it’s all About You

If you approach networking as a way to find people who can help you, and only reach out when you need that help, you’re doing it wrong. As you meet new people and form connections, approach the relationship with the mindset that you want to find ways you can help each other.

Be willing to offer suggestions and advice when your contacts come to you and even introduce your friends to other business connections. This makes people more willing to help you when you need a favor and results in much stronger relationships.

If you are Either Hot or Cold

The best networkers see it as a full-time job. Sure, they do more networking at events or conferences, but they are always on the look out for opportunities to meet new people and form connections. You can do this by handing out business cards, asking for new acquaintances’ contact information and reaching out to the people you brush shoulders with every day.

If you don’t Follow Up

As you make connections, follow up with people! All your networking won’t help your business if you never stay in touch with the people you meet. After you meet someone, follow up with a thank-you email and stay in touch by asking questions related to a new contact’s area of expertise or even invite your connections out to lunch to keep the relationship strong.

When Networking is Invaluable 

Networking can be one of the best things you can do for your business if you know how to do it the right way. If you adopt some habits and learn to leverage your connections, the pay off can be big for everyone.

When you do it with Purpose

In a sense, all of the connections you form could help your business grow, but when you approach networking with a sense of purpose, you can make sure your efforts bring the best results. Purposefully get to know other network marketers, people who specialize in areas you are weaker in and those who may be interested in your services.

Get to know where these people are and then attend community events, conferences, association meetings and other events that will give you a chance to meet people in these categories.

When you Leverage Connections

As you follow up with people and get to know them, find ways you can make the relationship beneficial for both of you. Of course, you may have to wait for the right circumstances to arise, and this doesn’t mean you should use people. However, when you’re in a situation where you could use an expert’s advice or you hear about an event a friend might be interested, get in touch.

When you Continually Invest in Relationships 

Your network of connections will be so much more valuable if you aren’t one of those people that just reaches out when they need something. Stay in touch, ask people to lunch, offer new friends product samples and keep the lines of communication open. These kinds of investments will make your relationships stronger so they will bring real benefits to your business.

Networking is one of those things that can either take up a lot of time without bringing any returns or one that can be done efficiently and bring huge benefits to your home-based business.

By making sure networking isn’t becoming a waste of time for you, you are building a foundation that will help your business grow and thrive. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can make your business grow and increase your income, contact me.

Everyone has his or her own approach to networking. What tips have you used that bring the best benefits to your business?

About the author 

Deborah MacDonald

After almost 25 years as an entrepreneur, I continue to grow my business, my passive income streams and my wealth. And now I mentor others on their wealth journeys by teaching them how to fund their own freedom lifestyle.

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