February 5th, 2012
Networking to Your Potential
I have been labeled a ‘techie’ by friends and colleagues. I certainly love my gadgets. Over the past year, I have written and read a lot about social networking. The ability to multiply yourself instantly is something that social networking allows you to do–and does it cost effectively! It is something that many of us have figured out and take advantage of on a regular basis.
However, I sometimes think with the emphasis on the Internet and social networking being so prevalent today, we forget about the ‘old school’ methods of face to face networking.
I recently attended the NWDA conference in Mt. Laurel, N.J. It was a terrific conference packed with lots of information. However, the people I bumped into and met have already been industry resources for me and the reciprocal has also been true.
Any organization, whether it be your local rotary club or the national board of AAMA, all of these organizations benefit you with knowledge and networking. There are more than likely lots of prospects and existing customers at these events.
However, attending a networking event can’t just be one sided. If you go in with this mentality, you won’t benefit from face to face networking. People will quickly see that you are just there for yourself. It’s safe to say, you get out of each networking event exactly what you put into it.
You need to offer good value and insight at networking events, which means you have to prepare. It also means you have to be active in the meetings. Finally, these networking events can position you as the remodeling expert, the building products expert, etc. You quickly become the ‘go to’ person people come to for information about your specialty! It’s extra work and extra time, but there is no replacement for face to face networking.