How to Become a Networking Star
Networking: A Formidable Frontier
If space is the Final Frontier, then networking is the formidable one. For many would-be successful businessmen and women, networking is their kryptonite. Some are just naturally shy and reserved, while others simply don’t know the ins and outs of what can be an intimidating feat. Luckily though, networking is not rocket science. Here are just a few myths about networking that may help demystify this alien process.
Networking is selfish
One of the main reasons that networking repels people is because they view it as an inherently selfish pursuit. Many people think that the name of the game is asking other people for favors. However, networking goes far beyond that. It is about building relationships and connections, rather than solely asking for help. In fact, asking for a favor when you first meet someone is the exact opposite of what you should do in a professional networking situation. Your goal is not to get something but to give. Offer your help, services, and advice. Cultivate a working relationship based on trust and mutual benefit. Anything else is direct selling.
Networking requires knowing a lot of people
While it can be beneficial to know a large amount of people, networking is more about quality than quantity. Knowing the right people and cultivating solid relationships with them will be infinitely more advantageous to you than having many shallow contacts.
Networking is only for extroverts
Although networking is an inherently social event, that doesn’t mean that only extroverts can do it. You don’t have to be a social butterfly to be a successful networker. It just takes practice and strategy. How you approach people will be much more important than your default instincts.
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