Networking 101: Your Easy Recipe for Success

Networking | Business Networking | building a business network

It’s not what you know.
It’s who you know

This often quoted phrase implies “networking” as the end-all, be-all. It doesn’t matter how smart I am or how experienced I am, all that matters is who I know. So I better get busy! Right? I said we were going to reframe networking using this phrase. Let’s start with the first part of the phrase.

Networking: It is not what you know.

We all take great comfort in what we know. We studied hard; we know our stuff. Years of experience add to that great knowledge. So why do we have to start by discounting our “knowledge?”

Don’t get me wrong. Knowledge does matter. But it doesn’t matter if others don’t know it exists. Or if they don’t know how to utilize the knowledge that we have.

Have you ever listened to an introduction of a speaker? The person introducing drones on and on about credentials, colleges, experiences and companies the person has served. And your eyes just glaze over.

Networking is about so much more than what you know.

Networking | Business NetworkingWhy? That is a recitation of knowledge and not how the application of it benefits. Hopefully you get that in the presentation!

So reciting your knowledge and experience doesn’t help with networking. We’ve just affirmed the statement we are attempting to debunk.

Think about this scenario: Have you ever learned that a colleague or acquaintance just hired someone who does exactly what you do? And you are shocked to learn you weren’t even considered for the position, job or contract? And they are shocked to learn you do what they just hired the other person to do. Double ouch!

Involve. Engage. Bring that Knowledge to Life! Now that’s networking.

This again illustrates that it does not matter what we know. What matters is that we convey our knowledge in a way that involves, engages and brings our knowledge to life. It becomes not just something in our head but a real-life valuable tool – with tangible benefits – for others.

Are you catching the drift here? You have got to be able to share the depth of your knowledge in a way that others can relate to and see themselves benefiting from it.

It’s your turn to start building your network. Ready?

Now for actionable part that you can start using today – I bet you’re wondering where to start.

  1. What do you do really well?
    1. I am a connector
    2. I am a communicator
    3. I strategize
    4. I analyze

If you are not sure what you do really well, then take the Clifton Strength Assessment and find out.

  1. Who do you do it for?
    1. Business owners
    2. Physicians
    3. Teachers
    4. Companies that are innovating
  1. What do you help them achieve?
    1. Increased collaboration and communication
    2. Stronger teams
    3. Peace of mind
    4. Defined action plans

Here’s an example: “I strategize with business owners to help them build stronger teams that lead to increased profitability and engagement.”

A statement like this opens the door for you to share your knowledge, expertise and impact, succinctly summarizing to others how they’ll benefit.

Still uncertain? Connect with me and let’s develop your approach to actionable knowledge sharing!

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