Every year, people continue to resist business networking even though successful people have used networking to grow their businesses. Networking provides a great return for a much smaller monetary investment as compared to the cost of traditional advertising. Why are so many business owners still not networking as a way to grow their business?
The four reasons why people resist networking
- They are frozen by their fear
Having a fear of rejection keeps people from networking. The fear of interacting with strangers is paralyzing. Having low self-confidence, shyness, or an under-estimation of what they can contribute are reasons why they resist networking. Giving in to these fears is just plain bad for business.
- They are too busy
Not having time to network is another excuse many people use as to why they are not networking. People believe that they are too busy already. They think that it is not worth the time or stress it takes to network. They resist networking because they believe that their current time obligations are more important. Being “too busy” is an excuse when people are not clear on their networking goals.
- They are “hunting”
People resist networking because they expect immediate results. They are impatient and don’t understand the value of taking the time to build strong relationships first. “Hunters” want a quick sale as opposed to following up and establishing credibility over time with others. They do not follow up with the people they connect with and get no results.
- They are talking more
People often resist networking because they pitch their sale in a room full of competition. I was at a big networking event with more than 500 people in the UK one year, and the person who spoke before me asked the audience: “How many of you came here hoping to do some business–maybe make a sale?” More than half the people in the audience raised their hands. He then asked, “How many of you are here hoping to buy something?” No one raised a hand–not one single person! This is the networking disconnect and they are not listening.
The four reasons why successful people network
- They are focused by their fear
Successful people are not blocked by fear. They are focused on meeting others when networking. Not only are they building their business visibility, but successful networkers also have a good time building new relationships with others.
- They value their networking time
Successful people have clear networking goals. They know what they want to gain with their networking time. Successful networkers have learned that breaking out of their routine is an enriching experience. They have found ways to incorporate networking into their schedule.
- They are “farming”
Networking is not a “get-rich-quick” scheme. Successful networking is more about farming than it is about hunting. We have to cultivate good relationships that pay us back over the long term, year after year. Networking works by building credibility with strong relationships.
- They are listening more
Networking is not like “cold-calling.” It is not something you do to someone. It is something you do with them. Networking is a conversation. It involves more listening. Don’t forget that a good networker has two ears and one mouth and should use both of them proportionately.
Networking involves building a strong relationship. The first of the three phases of networking is visibility. You and other individuals become aware of each other. When networking, you become genuinely interested in the other person as you get to know each other. This interest in each other leads to credibility with each other. This credibility will build and will create opportunities over time to provide referrals. Those referrals will ultimately lead to profitability resulting from your networking efforts.
About Dr. Ivan Misner
Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder & Chief Visionary Officer of BNI, the world’s largest business networking organization. Founded in 1985 the organization now has over 10,000 chapters throughout every populated continent of the world. Each year, BNI passes millions of referrals resulting in billions of dollars worth of business for its members.
Dr. Misner’s Ph.D. is from the University of Southern California. He is a New York Times Bestselling author who has written 26 books including one of his latest books – Who’s in Your Room? He is also a columnist for Entrepreneur.com and has been a university professor as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of La Verne.
Called the “Father of Modern Networking” by both Forbes and CNN, Dr. Misner is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on business networking and has been a keynote speaker for major corporations and associations throughout the world. He has been featured in the L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times, as well as numerous TV and radio shows including CNN, the BBC, and The Today Show on NBC.
Among his many awards, he has been named “Humanitarian of the Year” by the Red Cross and has been the recipient of the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award.