Meet the criminals, the preacher, the prisoner and the prostitute!

Simply Networking celebrates its 10th birthday next year and for most of those has operated events in Yorkshire. Leeds is the longest standing, with Sheffield introduced last year and Huddersfield, Halifax and Harrogate all in the pipeline.

Networking is a key way for companies to generate those all-important relationships and leads. Yet, some people fail to become successful networkers. Why? Because they are networking criminals!

The Preacher

The preacher is the salesman. They only use networking as an opportunity to exploit a captive audience.  You have not asked to be given a sales pitch, but that is what you will get from them anyway.

Networking is not about selling; it is about listening to, and helping others as well as yourself. Help others and they will help you.

The preacher does not see networking as a long-term goal.  All they want is a sale regardless of whether they can establish a longer relationship or not.  They might win a sale but they may equally make an enemy.  Word will spread of their approach within networking circles.  They will soon be outcasts if they persist.

So how do you avoid becoming a preacher? Listen and help others.  After all, you have two ears and only one mouth, using them in proportion will increase the success you achieve at networking events and help you spot those opportunities.

The Prisoner

The prisoner only sees the opportunities directly within the confines of the networking event.

They do not realise that their next supplier, customer or even future business partner may not be somebody at the networking event, but a contact of a fellow networker.

Don’t be a prisoner whilst networking, look beyond the room, we all know lots and lots of people. Clever networkers use these extended avenues of contacts to reach their goal.

The Prostitute

The prostitute is the person who expects to receive business immediately, before giving. They do not appreciate that networking is a long-term goal, not an opportunity to grab a quick piece of new business.

It is true that a lot of people attending networking events do get business immediately but those that benefit the most see the long-term benefits of networking, the endless referrals rather than a quick job.

Those who take time to get to build relationships tend to be successful networkers – look beyond a quick return and you will reap the benefits.

Networking takes time, but eventually, if you choose, you can reach a stage where you no longer do business with business people – but with friends! You may have met them in a business capacity but now consider them as friends who all look out for each other to gain new business.

By Mark Greenwood of simplynetworking.co.uk.