For a while now, I’ve been telling you about the benefits of networking. I fully believe there’s a lot of truth to the old adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” While that might be a bit of an oversimplification, the fact is that knowing the right people (whether we’re talking about reporters, colleagues, vendors…you name it) can help you grow and promote your business. I see evidence of this every single day.
But the fact remains that a lot of people still don’t put time into networking. For one reason or another, they’re resistant to it, despite the fact that networking is one of the most cost-effective ways you can build your business.
Based on my own interactions with others and the various comments I’ve read over the years, one of the most common reasons business owners don’t put the time into networking that they should is that they don’t believe it yields results quickly enough. Typically, the way it goes is the business owner halfheartedly gives networking a shot for a short period of time (whether by attending networking events, getting into social networking, or some other method) only to give up when they don’t get immediate results. They then steadfastly claim that networking doesn’t work and is a waste of time.
The problem is that they didn’t have realistic expectations. Networking will rarely yield results overnight. It takes time. Remember what networking is – it’s building relationships. Look at your personal life and think about the relationships you value most. How long did it take for you to build those relationships? Months? Years? It took a long time, but those relationships hold a lot of value to you, don’t they?
The same applies to business networking. It takes a lot of time to build quality relationships. You have to earn the other person’s trust and vice versa. You can’t rush this. Even with social networking, it still takes time to build lasting business relationships. If you’re expecting instant results, you’re going to fail at networking every time.
On the other hand, if you can see the bigger picture and you have a long-term commitment to cultivating quality business relationships, there really is no limit to the things you can achieve with networking. Have a smart networking strategy, put in the time, and you’ll see the benefits.
Do you think some people are too quick to write networking off as a waste of time? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html