Networking Critics Miss the Point

Networking has been getting a lot of bad press recently, with plenty of people slagging it off. Perhaps this is due to desperation, as there are many businesses out there who think that they’re after the same pounds and pennies as networking groups. Read on to find out why they say networking doesn’t work, why it’s important to maintain existing relationships AND grow new ones.

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Have you heard the latest – networking doesn’t work!

Networking critics miss the pointNetworking critics said networkers were “hanging ’round with the wrong people”. The critics should be concentrating on what they have to offer – as long as it tells us what we’ll get that is actually of benefit. They are partially right. Spending time and energy with the wrong people will get you the wrong results. Yet how are you supposed to meet the right people if you don’t network?

Networking is about motivating people to help you, because they want to. That’s not going to happen if you get involved in a group made up of people you don’t get on with, because someone else selected all the members according to their own criteria.

Meeting the right people

It’s also true that some people have no idea how to organise their network. However, well organised networking no doubt leads to measurable results. The critics think that the only way to be successful is the way they got successful – so follow them if they provide a similar product or service as you. Others just say networking doesn’t work, simply because they don’t like it. It takes some getting used to at the beginning yet successful people are waiting to meet you.

They want to meet the next LinkedIn founder or receive an excellent product or service. But only if it’s going to help them gain more success.

Be the next big thing

Meeting new people is vital but they have to be the right people. A few weeks ago a lot of people wanted to meet the Facebook founder – they may have they changed their mind? The world is continually changing and those that adapt survive. Yet adapting without measuring what’s already happened is often a waste of time.

People who pick on those that network do so for a variety of reasons, most of the time to tip them over the edge and make them join their merry band. This would be a shame if networkers had spent time meeting people and building relationships they then left fallow. What’s even worse is if networking groups tell networkers that it’s their own fault it didn’t work for them. Rather than telling them how to make it work.

That’s just not on. But it happens. Perhaps that’s what the critics meant?

Wrap up: You probably already have a network and those people are more likely to help you than strangers. Yet it’s not wise to just stop talking to people who take an interest in you, and could potentially help you grow your business. That’s what some “experts” recommend. And they’re always right. Aren’t they, George Osborne?

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Who to share this with: Networking critics, anyone who is not getting the results they deserve from their networking efforts.

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5 Responses to Networking Critics Miss the Point

  1. As expected, great blog Jason!

    Re: “Meeting the right people – It’s also true that some people have no idea how to organise their network. However, well organised networking no doubt leads to measurable results”.

    Bang-on! We’re forever encouraging entrepreneurs to nurture key members of their network using methodology like ‘Pareto’s Principle” (80/20 rule). Focus and ROI starts streaming in!

    • Jason Cobine says:

      Thank you very much John. The focus is what is often missing. If I had a pound for everytime I’m asked, “what is the best networking group” I’d be better off. Yet the answer is, it depends what your focus is. Which is always another conversation.

  2. Since I believe I have been a critic of networking, I want to be clear it’s not because of people not getting results. Actually your points are spot on to similar suggestions I give. In particular I like what you said about hanging around with the wrong people and still expecting results! Great point.

    My criticism, you stated, “Perhaps that’s what the critics meant?” is the way in which people corrupt connections at so many turns IN their networking.

    Thanks for the post.

    Patricia Weber

    • Jason Cobine says:

      Thanks Patricia, I’d love to know more about corrupting connections – I sense another article may be in that.

  3. We are told throughout our lives that it is not who you know but what you know. The opposite is most certainly true.

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