Three business networking myths busted

Three business networking myths busted

Are you someone who thinks business networking isn’t for you? If so, you’re not alone. That’s because one of the most effective ways to build business and get referrals is also one of the most misunderstood.

If you’re one of those business networking sceptics, perhaps we can give you a fresh perspective by debunking three commonly accepted myths.

Myth 1 – Networking is all about attending events

If all you ever do is turn up at networking events, you’re robbing yourself of opportunities to develop  the connections that are essential for successful business networking.

The most valuable networking activities don’t occur at those events your business association or networking group organises. They happen between events when you invest your time in building stronger relationships.

For example, once you know someone, you might

  • Catch up with them and get to know them better. One well-proven way to start is with the simple question, “May I buy you a coffee and learn more about your business?”.
  • Think about whether you can help them. For example, you might be able to introduce them to a potential client, or a supplier of a service that will solve a business problem they’ve mentioned. Remember, what goes around, comes around.

The takeaway – Although networking events are important, they are only one part of the process. What really matter are the conversations and interactions you have at other times.

Myth 2 – Networking is about constantly meeting new people

Of course, networking involves making new connections. But that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to go around like a hunter, always collecting more names to add to your contact database.

You also need to put your energies into strengthening the connections you already have. A person who knows and trust you is more likely give you business or refer clients to you. It can take weeks, months or years to build that level of trust. There are no shortcuts.

The takeaway – business networking is about cultivating relationships. It needs the mindset of a farmer, not a hunter.

Myth 3 – Networking means selling yourself to strangers

Yes, your networking efforts will eventually create opportunities to pitch yourself, your products or your services. But that’s not networking, it’s selling. It’s important to understand the difference.

When you first meet someone, aim to spend more time asking them questions about their business, products, services or industry sector than telling them about yours.

The takeaway – successful networkers focus more on learning about others than talking about themselves.

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2019-11-05T15:36:08+08:00

What our members say

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Excellent events, great people and always a smile from the WSBA committee and staff. Gareth Lane, Concise Digital
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WSBA is one of the leading networking associations in Perth. Every event I’ve been to has been extremely beneficial for my business. The events are created in a way where you create organic business relations with fellow business owners which is well aligned with my business development. WSBA is a great balance of creating memorable experiences and great business relationships. Sandra Tricoli, Savvy Creations
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Top Level event last night for W.S.B.A. - great panel especially Jim Tsagalis. Adrian Law, A.H Law Accounting & SMSF Auditing
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Western Suburbs Business Association / Lexus of Perth event last night was a great forum to meet like minded business people it was fantastic the energy and vibe was a credit to the team at WSBA and Lexus of Perth, thanking you. Jane Taylor, Vodafone Business Centre Perth
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A fantastic WSBA property dinner event last night, excellent current market info and great opportunity to talk to the experts and meet people involved in the Perth property market. Cullen Macleod
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Great organisation, highly recommend we have made some great connections. Charlene Wade, Venues West
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WSBA know how to put a great networking event together with like minded professionals, in a friendly welcoming environment conducive to building professional relationships. Brilliantly proactive and engaging committee. Highly recommend this group. Suza Tordorovska, Bendigo Bank
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A great group of professionals, all of whom are keen to support each other. The events are awesome and always well catered, with engaging guest speakers and plenty of opportunities to network. I highly recommend checking out an event as a guest and I'm almost certain you'll want to join once you do! Ant Ulijn, emanation
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I recently attended the women in business lunch and it was fantastic! Everyone was so inviting and friendly when I arrived. I learnt and I laughed, plus it was a nice break from my general work day. I'm looking forward to attending more of your support network events in the future. Nicole Molloy, Concise Digital
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I've been a member of the WSBA for 12 months now and have been very impressed with the organisation. I've enjoyed meeting a very interesting group of local business people, and the functions and networking opportunities have been first class. Annabelle Walsh, Staywest Apartments
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We have been going to WSBA events for a few years now and have developed a number of great business relationships as a result. The events are always excellent (great locations, food, drinks, etc) and the people in attendance are very friendly and cover a diverse range of industries. If you're looking to grow your network, the WSBA is well worth taking a close look at... what's more, you don't have to be in the Western Suburbs to get involved. Stephen Spry, CBSW Tax & Business Advisors
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Referrals and Networking are key to business growth and must be part of your strategy! The WSBA events are dynamic and provide the opportunity to network in a social and friendly environment. The connections and business relationships I have built over 10 years and the results speak for themselves. Get in touch with the WSBA and attend an event I promise you won't be disappointed. Jamie Duff, Qbit
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This is an outstanding association that really works hard to engage members to network and create relationships. The venues for events have been top class and with attendances over the last several events in excess of 100 attendees, there is much opportunity for members to grow their business networks. Mark Hann, Tactica Partners
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Since being a member of WSBA, Ultimo Catering and Events has gained a great exposure to businesses in the Western Suburbs and my business contacts have increased accordingly. The WSBA is definitely increasing in membership and this is evident at the networking functions. So I would encourage business owners/managers in the Western Suburbs to get on board, become a member and get the benefits of meeting with like minded people and businesses in a relaxed and casual environment. Clark Wilmot, Ultimo Catering and Events
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The WSBA is a fun, useful and educational networking group. It sets itself apart from other networking groups in a number of ways, including being the most friendly and welcoming group I have ever been to, with particular ways to make people feel welcome, for example introducing new members to other members and the committee when they first arrive. Combined with really useful, interesting, and fun events, the events have a fantastic turnout every month, and I have got to know some really great people and made some excellent business connections! I really enjoy going to their events - when time is so precious for all of us, it is critical that we choose to spend time in ways gives us a return on that investment, which WSBA absolutely does. Highly recommend! Catriona Macleod, Cullen Macleod
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The Western Suburbs Business Association comprises of members who like to casually catch up with each other from time to time. The reason I enjoy it so much is the quality of the people who attend their functions. We have been fortunate to partner with them on numerous different occasions.” Aaron McDonald, Managing Director, Pragma Lawyers
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A friendly group of business professionals who always make you feel welcome. If you enjoy making new connections, listening to inspiring presenters and networking sundowners - this is the place! Adrienne Whiting, Whiting Media
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WSBA provides an excellent forum for its members to create a wide network of informed and interconnected contacts to exchange best practice knowledge, learn about the business techniques of peers and stay abreast of the latest industry developments, whilst also providing the events to meet business people who share a similar drive and ambition
Suzy Costanzo, Suzy Costanzo Real Estate
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If you are a small business owner in the Western Suburbs you are doing yourself a disservice if you don't belong to the WSBA ! At my first event everyone was very friendly and welcoming, so much so that I joined the next day. It's a great way of networking and meeting like minded people. Luke Matar, The Vein Clinic
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Thank you WSBA for another fantastic event, the women of Abel McGrath certainly enjoyed it. The content was very relevant and insightful and the venue and food were fantastic! Shanay Parker, Abel McGrath