August 21st, 2009 15:15 EST
Networking is About Understanding The People Who You Network With
During the course of a year, I host or moderate more than 50 substantial networking functions. These are highly social but intensely business-oriented functions where millions and millions of dollars worth of business gets done. Networking is much more than business owners getting together to trade war stories. Networking is about understanding the people who you network with and getting them to understand you so that you each can present opportunities to the other when the time arises.
In order for the participants at my networking functions to get the most out of their event, I spend a good amount of time training the audience on how to be effective networkers. Some people think that they`re already excellent. If so, that`s great. But most find -- including those who say they`re experienced -- that there is a lot they have left to learn. I make it my goal to teach what is critical yet not so obvious.
And there`s one component of networking that is both critical and not so obvious and that is more important than all the rest. Here it is...
The best networkers know that it is not the moderator`s or the host`s job to bring the people to the party. That responsibility actually lies with each participant at every single function. If you believe that others are going to bring people for you to network with and that you do not have a parallel responsibility, then you are clearly mistaken. Networking for the most serious participants demands that they treat that responsibility seriously. It is every networker`s responsibility to bring with them colleagues who are appropriate for that particular networking environment.
In my business and finance groups -- which are limited to CPAs, attorneys, bankers, lenders and investment bankers -- all of us are responsible for bringing the colleagues who we know that we believe would benefit from that environment.
In my real estate groups, all the participants understand that they should bring qualified real estate professionals who they believe would benefit and would benefit the group by participating.
At the real estate syndication symposiums and seminars that we host, the participants understand that their high-level real estate and investment colleagues who should participate are all people who need to be included. Because the network at the end of the day is more important than the content at the seminar -- even though the content is excellent. The network that we all create is the asset that we take home with us.
Whenever you attend a networking function, you`ll be able to tell if it`s a serious function by the requirement by the group to ask you to invite your qualified colleagues to participate. If you as a participant are asked to contribute a colleague -- and you value the group enough to make the introduction -- then you know you are in a place that is strong. You need to step up to the plate and address that responsibility with invitations to your best associates.
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About Joel G. Block, President of Growth-Logic, Inc. Often dubbed a "Growth Architect" by his clients, Joel Block advises companies on explosive growth strategies by driving revenue and sales. Well known in the capital markets, Joel is a successful entrepreneur, speaker, advisor and faculty member of the iLearningGlobal community.
To bring Joel into your company, please visit http://www.joelblock.com or http://www.growth-logic.com. Also, be sure to check out our newest project: a blog to organize the blogs that cover entrepreneurship -- http://www.entrepreneur-hub.com. And finally, for film makers: http://www.hollywood-dream.com/ and http://www.filmfundingblog.com -- our newest projects.