Traditional networking can be intimidating. I’ve discussed previously why traditional networking doesn’t usually generate beneficial results. I’ll use a personal example of how I determine when to initiate a networking conversation.
I was in a women’s group and there were some very influential women in this group. I would have liked to make a connection with some of these women but I didn’t know how to network with them. So what do I mean by “network” with them? I mean bring value to their professional career. When people go to networking events, they’re looking for people that can add value to their career. During the initial conversation they ask questions to find out if you can enhance what they’re doing and if not they won’t follow up after the conversation. The effective way to network with people that you currently don’t have a career connection with is to gradually build a rapport with them over time organically.
The mistake people make when networking is that they try to force a connection with someone that can help them but they offer no value to that person. When you do this, you come across desperate because the interest isn’t mutual. Just like when a person is too aggressive while perusing a person romantically that isn’t interested.
In my last post, I discussed being motivated out of fear versus out of love. Desperation wreaks of fear. When you’re motivated to connect with someone because you fear not getting their help, they can sense your desperation and are turned off. The effective way to network is to know what value you bring when going into a conversation and if the other person doesn’t see your significance, you’re okay with it and mutually part ways. When you connect with people from a place of love, you only want to partner with people that see your worth.