Let’s try again, don’t think about networking events.
The strongest salesmen and businessmen know that every conversation is an opportunity to connect. Yes, your typical, strictly professional business mixers and networking events are made for those kinds of connections, but how often do you network outside of those settings? And more importantly, why should you?
We have come to the conclusion lately, based on personal experience and a select group consensus, that informal networking is our new favorite trend. How many of you have realized that the relationships you build are stronger once you’ve gotten to know your client on a personal level? Do you click more at a business lunch or over drinks? Is it easier to start a conversation with a business card or a mutual hobby? I mean, how many movies have you watched where large business deals are solidified on the golf course, instead of the office? Just like our bi-monthly Binge Networking event—that encourages networking based on conversation topics instead of an elevator pitch, you can check it out this month at our office on August 23— we believe getting to know one another, at least a little, should happen before the business can start. Hence: Informal Networking!
Informal networks are not as bureaucratically structured. When you’re speaking with someone at the park or a party, the flow of ideas isn’t limited to your position in a company or the clearance you need from your superiors. We’re not encouraging you to divulge company secrets, but you are able to skip certain authorities and have a more relaxed, honest conversation. The beauty of these kinds of relationships is the connections are able to grow more organically, and can even develop into full-fledged communities who look after each other’s well-being.
“As they connect around shared interests and knowledge, they may build networks that can range in size from fewer than a dozen colleagues and acquaintances to hundreds.”
“Personal social networks increase the value of collaboration by reducing the search and coordination costs of connecting parties who have related knowledge and interests.”
“I’m still astounded by what doors open and friendships emerge when I put myself out there and talk with people. By engaging in casual conversation with others, I learn a lot about people for who they are. In fact, I find organic networking to be a much more efficient way of learning what is mutually beneficial to a relationship than what I learn in a professional setting.”
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