Networking, Notworking, NetWalking & NetWeaving
Networking training seminars are really about sales and marketing. Have a process. Be generous. Give before you take. Provide a reason for people to want to work with you. This all seems simple enough.
Yesterday in Atlanta, I met Bob Littell, chief netweaver and author of The Heart & Art of Netweaving. Bob is a delight, and his work supports the Pay It Foward Foundation. (Yes, that Pay It Forward.) He is possibly the quietest promoter of good networking and sales strategies I've ever met. He's quite a departure from the obnoxious neediness of prolific glad-handers.
Sure, networking is a skill. It's socializing with a plan. But that description assumes people know how to be social or interesting. They don't.
Then again, many marketing seminars (including my own) assume you have a product or service worth marketing. Something that people want. Something unique. Perhaps you do.
I believe in netweaving much more than netwalking. Netweaving is about being generous. This concept is lost on spammers, because most of the email newsletters I receive from businesses and organizations have a "Hey look at us for a second" approach and these folks are quickly running out of exclamation points. They can't possibly understand how I send an email to my list of 1000 and receive an open rate of 130.1%. It takes discipline, which these folks lack.
This same discipline is viewed in the marketplace as strength. It's strength that consumers are attracted to. Strength gains momentum, goes viral, or gets elected. You get the idea.
So if your networking is notworking, start netwalking away from your plan and towards something like Netweaving. And be generous.
// Kyle Sexton is an award-winning marketing strategist and international speaker. His innovations have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, and his book, REMEMBERSHIP - New Thinking for Tomorrow's Membership Organization, is fueling transformations in membership organizations throughout North America. He can be reached at 888.899.8374 or get his free resources at KyleSexton.com.