Recently, at a local conference, I ran into two old friends whom I will call Betty and Carolyn. It was great to see them and it didn’t take long for us to update each other on our happenings.
After about 10 minutes of getting caught up, my friend Betty said,
“I better go and network. Business has been slow and I need to find more clients.” She gave both Carolyn and I a hug, reached in her purse for a handful of business cards and marched off.
Carolyn and I said our goodbyes as well and went our separate ways.
Later in the parking lot, I ran into the both of them again. I saw Betty first.
“How did your networking go?” I asked her.
“What a waste of time.” She replied. “I didn’t meet anyone who could help me find more clients. Everyone is looking for jobs and it seems no one wants to spend money these days.” With that, she wished me good luck and left.
Just as Betty left, Carolyn came rushing over to me with another woman following close behind.
“Jocelyn, I am so glad I caught you.” She said almost out of breath. “I’d like to introduce you to Linda. Linda and I met earlier today. She’s looking for diversity professionals to interview for a project. I thought you may be able to assist. I don’t know many people in that line of business. However, I thought you would be a good person to help.”
After exchanging contact information, Linda thanked Carolyn and told her that she was a great help.
Walking to our cars, Carolyn and I talked about how great the conference was and the people we met. As I reached my vehicle, Carolyn said,
” I’m glad I came, I helped several people connect tonight. ”
We wished each other well and said good night.
How many times have you “gone networking” and left disappointed like Betty? If this has happened to you, consider changing your perspective on networking.
All too often, I run into woman like Betty whom look at networking like it’s a job that you set out to do with only one goal in mind; meeting your own needs.
I’m a firm believer that the best way to network, is to build a strategy around helping others. Like Carolyn, helping people meet their needs is the most beneficial way to increase your return on your networking efforts. Master this approach, and you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll get in the end.
I share this story to show how different approaches yeild different results. Pass it on if you think someone else may find it useful.
What do you think? Share your thoughts and experiences.
© Jocelyn Giangrande and Sisters Keeping it Real, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jocelyn Giangrande and Sisters Keeping it Real with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.