Many people associate networking with selling. As you have already read in previous posts (like “The difference between selling and networking“) for me a sale can be one of many consequences of networking, not the only one.
A few weeks ago I asked this question to a group I was training in networking: “What is your goal when networking?”
one of the participants answered: “to have a better bottom line with my company”. I asked him how networking would help him with that. His answer: “by finding more people to sell to”.
Now you have to know that this man was not very successful in his networking. Why? Because when he met someone that was not a potential customer, he would end the conversation and look for someone else.
This man was in the catering business. So I asked him: is it really the bottom line you want to improve? And he confirmed this. My next question was: so, if you could buy the supplies for your catering business at a lower price and still have the same quality, this would improve the bottom line as well?
When he confirmed this, he also immediately saw that for his situation networking could work in more ways. As a result he became more interested in other people, even if they were not potential customers (or suppliers). And his bottom line did improve !
How are YOU networking? Only looking for a potential customer? Or are you open for other connections for yourself or your network as well?
Have a great networking day !