“What’s your routine after attending a networking event or meal? If your answer is, ‘I go home,’ you’re probably going to miss out on opportunities.”
Lewis Howes, Professional Athlete
Why do you go to events like seminars, conferences or corporate meetings? If you say to learn something about a product, service or opportunity, that’s great. But do you think about meeting people there? Because that’s the primary reason to attend events.
Networking Is About Being Helpful
So what exactly is networking? The term is thrown around in the business world quite a lot. Really, it’s just meeting people, finding out what they do, and how you can help them. And help is a small word for a big concept. Help could mean buying something, connecting them with a resource (remember, people are resources, too), or providing them with an answer to a question or solution to a problem. Being helpful is the key.
All of that works in reverse, too. People you meet at events might buy something from you or your company, connect you with a resource or person, or give you the perfect solution to a question or problem you have. Networking is the ultimate win, win.
“Networking is all about connecting with people. But then again, isn’t that what life is about?”
Jay Samit, Digital Entrepreneur
Networking Is About Connecting
Networking also allows connections with like-minded individuals who share the same jobs or careers, hobbies and/or philanthropic passions. Where do you meet those people? If you guessed “at events,” you’re right!
Even though many people look to online communities first, the face to face connections you make at in-person events is much more valuable than relying on social media. It’s easy to ignore social media, or miss personality quirks and nonverbal communication that being front and center with someone provides.
In fact, 72 percent of people say their impressions are impacted by how someone appears and their handshake. People tend to do business with people they like, so focus on meeting new people and making a genuine connection.
Want more proof? Read this blog from HubSpot, one of the industry leaders in marketing and sales software.