‘Bringing people together’ is one of those annoyingly imprecise, throw-away statements that, when you take its emperor’s clothes off, doesn’t actually mean a thing. So what do we mean when we say that networking brings people together?
1.Selling to humans, not businesses
Even if you operate business-to-business, you’re still selling your wares to your fellow humans, not impersonal commercial entities. Meeting people face to face is hugely influential, driving buying decisions much more strongly than any other medium.
2.Building positive relationships
‘Putting a face to the name’ is positive stuff for the same reason – that subtle yet powerful human connection is your best possible starting point when nurturing a new business relationship. If you’ve ever felt niggly with an organisation and had your niggles completely removed through a short face-to-face encounter, or felt high as a kite after a buzzy meeting, you’ll know what we mean.
3.The trust thing
The better people trust you and believe wholeheartedly in your credibility, the more business you attract. In an extremely crowded and competitive business world, getting together with people face-to-face gives you a serious edge.
Cross pollination is a beautiful thing. Every human being is different, each with our own unique viewpoints gained through experience. Everyone you network with has something fresh and exciting to offer, adding to the layers of insight and hard-won knowledge you’ve already gathered on your own.
When you feel warm and fuzzy about someone you’re more likely to pass their details on when you come across people who might need their services. The warmer you feel, the better – face to face encounters are excellent Karma territory.
You’re stuffed. How do you solve that sticky issue that seems insurmountable? A quick, informal chat with someone in your network might be just the ticket, with one man’s problem another’s area of expertise.
7.Finding great people
Word of mouth recommendations are hard to beat when you need a reliable supplier, employee or freelance support.
8.Making the internet real
Virtual this, digital that… it’s all great stuff and a crucial part of the marketing mix. But when you meet real people their internet presence springs to life, taking on a whole new dimension that’s much more attractive compared to comparatively chilly web presences.
Can you do it alone? Or would collaboration give your latest project, product, service or grand new idea the extra impetus, depth, breadth and attraction it needs to hit your target audience so hard they can’t resist?
It’s all very well regaling your friends and loved ones with tales of your working day. But sharing them with people in the same boat, in a business context, can be much more satisfying and productive because they know exactly where you’re coming from.
What’s the thing you find most useful about face to face networking?