Is Your Networking a Painkiller or Vitamin For Your Business?

Today is an edition to get you thinking about how you approach networking.

Whether it’s something you view it through a long-term lens.

Or consider it a quick fix you come back to from time to time.

Unfortunately, too many networkers still think of it as the latter.

Then bemoan networking that it doesn’t work.

*Puts face in hands*

So if that’s you.

It’s time to try out a new analogy to help you reconsider that approach.

The Painkiller Networking Approach

It still amazes me when someone approaches me asking about networking and how they need to do more of it.

I suggest events or invite them to an event I’m attending or even hosting.

They go, enjoy it, and go again soon after.

A few weeks later, they are no where to be seen.

When I reach out to ask where they’ve been, they reply that they didn’t see anything from it.

Or they’ve got busy and they can’t go for a while (but they’ll come back).

These networkers are treating networking like a painkiller.

I call this the 'Painkiller Networking Approach'

Thinking that it was just going to work right away and fix what needed fixing.

But think what painkillers do.

Let’s look at definition I found; painkillers provide a short-term solution to a discomfort or pain.

Networking does not do that for your business.

Instead, Think Of Networking As A Vitamin

Now, let’s look at the definition of a vitamin I found (thanks to the NHS website):

Vitamins provide the nutrients your body needs in small amounts to work properly and stay healthy.

You don’t feel the benefits from vitamins right away.

You feel them in the long term.

You become healthier.

And you know, and trust, they are working.

Swap the words vitamins and body in that definition, to networking and business, and the same could be true:

Networking provides the nutrients your business needs in small amounts to work properly and stay healthy.

Healthier could be by attaining:

  • New customers
  • A richer network
  • Referral partners
  • New suppliers
  • Friends!

Benefits like that you can see, but there are some you can’t.

Or you don’t see them until you need them.

Because when you come up against a challenge, and you haven’t taken the right vitamins, it’s sometimes too late.

Remember, you’re building your network before you need it.

This is the Vitamin Networking Approach.

How can you apply this thinking to your networking?

As we’ve read, you need to be taking vitamins in small amounts, regularly and consistently.

In networking terms, this means ​attending events regularly and consistently​.

‘Small amounts’ can also be true to be an effective networker too.

Contrary to an approach I see some networkers take, which is to be at any and every event, sometimes less is more with networking.

You don’t need to go events overkill (or overdose).

(I actually Googled ‘Can you overdose on Vitamins’ - the things I do for this newsletter).

Luckily, you won’t need to risk that when you find the right events.

Which is another way to think about it.

And that’s taking the right vitamins for your body.

Or ensuring you’re attending the ​right networking events for you​.

For example, there’s no value in taking vitamin C if you need vitamin D.

The same for your events, there's not use attending an event aimed at start ups, if you're looking to network with corporates.

The last point, and the reality is, other benefit from having a healthier network, is that what you gain from networking in the long-term will actually be able to help the short term issues.

Short term issues you might be trying to solve in your ‘painkiller networking approach’.

Need help with a particular challenge? Reach out to your network.

Need an introduction into a certain industry? Reach out to your network.

They’ll be primed and ready to help address the symptoms.

Wrap Up

So, if you’re looking to networking to fix a short term pain in your business.

Try something else - you’ll spend your time far more wisely.

But if you’re looking for a healthier business and a stronger network in the long run.

It’s time to start viewing your networking as a vitamin.

P.S. Consider The Networkers Playbook your vitamin, your networking GP, and your networking equivalent of a full body check up.

Become an even smarter networker by taking The Networkers Playbook

A practical self-paced online course for those new to networking.

Arming you with the attitude, skills, and systems to become a better networker, expand your network, and create deeper relationships.