Why Is Mindset Critical To Business Networking?

Pre-Networking Preparations

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The Answers Are Not Blowing In The Wind; They Are Inside

As was pointed out before, there must be a system in order for networking to work.

We agreed that the first we must have the input, i.e. meet people that can be potentially network partners.  We also pointed out that your mindset is part of that input that goes into networking.

Here’s how networking works.  By now, you realize that networking is not an event; it takes time to develop useful networks.  You may also know that it is impossible to predict exactly what resources the people you meet will have at their disposal.

Does that mean it is also impossible to set networking goals?

Not really.  This is where mindset plays an important part. In your mind, you have no doubts about exactly what you need to build your business.   Even if you have never attended a networking event, you have read books, articles or may have heard it touted workshops and seminars as one of the most powerful business building tools.

That is the typical mindset of a small business owner.

But wait! There is something missing from that mindset.  Remember in a previous post, we pointed out that the only reason a business owner will network is to meet a need?  That is the same reason you will network. Right?

What’s missing from that mindset is you, your business; what you bring to the table.  Before you network, it is important that you take an inventory of yourself.   Ask yourself these questions…

What do I have to offer to another business owner?  Remember the words of an old song; “nothing from nothing leaves nothing, you gotta have something if you wanna be with me…”  It’s the same with networking, if you put nothing in, there is nothing you can get out of it.

Your First Step: Self Inventory:

What skills have you acquired that can help another business owner?  It may or may not be your primary business services.  Consider the skills of other business owners in your network. You may have a super accountant or a business coach you could recommend.

What resources do I have that another business can use?  This refers to physical resources, you may have an over capacity or unused resources in your business that you could make available to a business. Maybe it is even possible to trade inventory.  And, finally…

How much time am I willing to put into networking my business?   Whether you decide to attend networking events, go to more cocktail parties, workshops, workshops or just go introduce yourself to the business owners in your community, your networking mindset will determine your success.  It is a commitment you should consciously make.

The answers to these questions are crucial to building the right mindset to create a sustainable business networking system.  Your honest responses  to yourself can reveal your present mindset about business networking.

What you think, believe, and have experienced make up your mindset.

Are you ready?  Do you have a sustainable networking mindset?

Strategic Business Networking For Professionals

A Business Networking Mindset Is Essential For Success

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Most business owners have a specific mindset when it comes to networking.  Simply put, they expect to meet like-minded people who will help them grow their businesses.

Because after all is said, and done, the only reason to network is to build your business.  Why else would anyone network?

Small business owners are conditioned to expect business networking to help their businesses.  Many become disillusioned by the results they get from networking events or activities in which they were involved

In the last post we made the point that business networking is different in that it should be networking system with an input, process and output. We pointed out that meeting people, collecting business card and chatting is the input for the system.

Now, throw this into the mix.  Every other networking business owner is thinking exactly as you are; they are looking to meet people who can help their business grow. That is the standard.

Meeting a new business owner is not only the input; it is should initiate the process.  Your mindset about networking, your demeanor, clarity of expression all go into whether your networking will be successful. If you don’t know what to do, you do nothing or do the wrong thing, like I have done, then building a network is not easy.  Computer programmers say “garbage in, garbage out”. Networking starts with YOU.

Being unprepared and not having a follow up system is the primary reason most impromptu networking activity at workshops and seminars fail to produce results.  Networking is not something you do suddenly it must be systematically thought out; planned.  Networking is a system that works when the input into the system is valid. Your mindset is part of that input.

Without Business Networking The Road To Success is Longer & The Journey Harder

No Other Business Tool Involves YOU More Than Business Networking

Networking is not the only tool you can use to build your business but when compared to the other business building tools it has some unique benefits that can potentially improve any area of your business operations.

One unique feature of business networking is that you can’t buy it.  A business network relies solely on the business owner’s ability to interact with other business owners.  If you are an introvert determined to go it alone, you and your business will not be successful. Don’t worry, most introvert temporarily revert to being extroverts when they need to.  Business connections, like people are interdependent.

A great example of the power of networking is the Internet.  It has connected or made it possible to connect billions of people at a personal level with sites like Facebook and Linkedin.

What is also unique about business networking is that it can impacts a business so dramatically while requiring little or no financial investment.  Granted it does take time but every seed needs time to grow into a healthy plant, even with very little nurturing.

Finally, business networking is unique because it is impossible to predict the results.  That is, you will never know whom you will meet and how they can change your business.  The only control you have over that is the size and accessibility of your networks.

However, for most business owners the challenge is first grasping the idea, understanding what it is and how it works, then using it.

Hopefully after reading these tips will address that challenge.  Understand it and use it in your business. By stripping down the process so that you can see what’s under the hood of networking you can start developing the mindset to network strategically just like a professional would.

Remember, you don’t need to attend a workshop or seminar to network, you already knows how to network.  You also don’t need to change anything about yourself to network successfully other than to understand how it works for you and how you can apply the same principles in your business.

Networking with an open mind reaps the benefits. Mostly, you will get what you do not expect but when you network strategically, your business will grow.

For example, when people heard that we were hosting a Speed Networking Mixer, the first thought that came to their minds was that “networking would be fast, rapid”. Yes, you can meet people fast but you cannot network fast; networking takes time. The truth is that networking may take months or even years, before it pays off; it can also pay off the next day.

The speed at which you meet people has nothing to do with whether you develop a relationship. That takes human chemistry, satisfying a desire, meeting a need.  Remember, the other business owners are thinking about how they can gain from the relationship.

Speed Networking assumes that the more people you meet the more possibilities you will have to build useful relationships.

Remember, “garbage in, garbage out”.

As usual, we welcome comments. questions or suggestions