Three business networking myths busted

///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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What our members say

It was wonderful to meet so many WSBA members at the event last night. I congratulate you and all at WSBA for organising such a great, welcoming and fun networking event. We will definitely be looking to engage with the WSBA on an ongoing basis. Celia Hammond MP – Federal Member for Curtin
The Regal Theatre has been a member of the Western Suburbs Business Association (formerly Subiaco Business Association) for almost 15 years. Over these years, we have benefited from networking opportunities with others in a relaxed and friendly environment, sharing experiences and keeping up to date with what is happening locally. Our membership is a vital part of our business. Kim Knight, Regal Theatre
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WSBA is an outstanding organisation to be associated with. The quality of business people you meet at the networking events are very helpful in getting business exposure and to make great contacts on a professional and personal level. Members are guaranteed to benefit from the many networking opportunities and the satisfaction and personal growth they will derive from being actively involved in it. I am already looking forward to the next event! Thomas Meihofer, Thomas Meifhofer Jewellery Design
I strongly recommend WSBA to any businessperson in the western suburbs area. Whatever industry sector you are in and whether you operate a one-person business, a branch office of a multi-national corporation or anything in between, you will benefit from the exposure, support and networking opportunities that come with membership. WSBA is high-calibre organisation in every respect.” James Bull, James Bull Consulting
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