A few years ago I was riding a cab to my hotel in San Jose from work, where I had gone to deliver a powerful leadership talk in a company, and on the way back the cab driver greeted me and while I sat in the cab, she asked me about my day and what I did for a living, we spoke about the beautiful California weather and then she told me how she herself does two jobs, a day job where she is a realtor and an evening job where she drives a cab. She then filled me in about so many interesting facts about home buying and rental which I myself didn’t have a clue about.
The conversation was so engaging that I did not realize that we had reached the hotel. As she pulled over outside the hotel, she handed me her business card saying that if anyone I knew or I myself was ever looking for a realtor for homes and rentals, she would be the best contact. I then smilingly greeted her and waved her goodbye and in time to come, I did refer her to quite a few people who I knew in San Jose who were looking for homes. The real reason for me sharing this incident with you is that this is what I call true networking.
What true Networking is NOT
Over the years in our business and in our corporate world we have somehow lost the sense of networking. You see true networking doesn’t happen over a cup of coffee or just joining an association, it’s not about the number of likes or the connections that you build on social media, and its definitely not about self-promotion or promoting one’s own business and talking about your self and it’s not that only an extrovert can be great in networking, In fact, I have coached hundreds of leaders who are introverts and now they are pros at networking and connecting with people.
What true Networking IS
True networking happens every day with the people you are around and the people you meet suddenly like I met the cab driver. “A day gone by without building meaningful connection is a day wasted.” If you want to expand your business, if you want to increase your income, if you want to grow at your workplace, then you have to consider moving around a lot, networking a lot, that also true networking.
Over the years a lot of people have asked me this question that Payal, what is the reason behind your success? The answer I always give is that I did not do it alone, I had tons and tons of help from my team, my family, my friends, my associates, my colleagues, my clients, amazingly incredible people out there who have been with me this whole time, they helped me, they had my back. So, your network and your community begin to evolve and grow if you reach out strategically, consistently, and with a purpose every single day.
The math is simple. When you combine your ideas, dreams, values, and purpose with the right people, you can produce much more opportunities and work for yourself than you could have ever done it alone.
Why Networking is Important, Especially During these Unprecedented Times
We are living in hard-hit times these days, the condition of economies all around the globe isn’t great, people are losing jobs, people are afraid and holding on to jobs. I get these messages from people in which they talk about how their businesses are slacking and not seeing any growth.
I always tell people that your experience, your hard work, your talent, neither of them will save you in these times. If you are looking for a job, more money, advice, help or you just want someone to break that sale, there is a surefire way of doing it and this is reaching out to your extended circle, to your network, to your associates and that will help you only if you had taken the time and effort to build it over the years, it’s not a day’s work, it’s not a month’s work either. So if you haven’t done that, I would say start moving around more in your company, outside of your circle, talk to more people, build more connections, call people up, check on them, add value to their lives, and know-how to leverage that connection and when you do that your influence grows.
How to Build your own Network
Firstly, reach out to people, I would say is the key and initial step in building connections, you must reach out to people in order to build your own network.
Secondly, know what triggers others to connect with you. Why would someone connect with you? What is it that you are offering?
Thirdly, know how to approach people, how to introduce yourself, and start the conversation with confidence, many people fall short here.
Fourthly, know how to keep the conversation engaging, people when talking with you should be so involved in the conversation that they forget time.
And lastly, know how to follow up, to maintain that contact and re-approach those existing connections.
When you put all of this together I can personally affirm you that this is going to help you build true connections which are going to be long lasting and I tell you this out of my own personal experience, I’ve helped millions of people globally to strategically build their network and leverage that to grow their income and their businesses and for them to reach higher heights in their career.
Hope this is of much value to you in your journey to success.
Your Friend + Mentor