Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How networking can work for you

I personally love this article.  It really helps you understand the basics of networking and how it can work for you.  I have had many people attend our OCBrides events on the hunt for wedding planners.  They think the wedding planners are the best people to get to know so they can "refer them".  But that isn't what networking is about at all.  The people that come to our events consistently and build and nurture relationships with others in the industry no matter what part of the industry are the one's that are getting business.  I have had many members tell me how they have received business within our group.

I say it a lot, but networking is the cheapest form of advertising your business in this challenging economy.  Most people in this industry work alone with no employees and many have had to take "day"jobs to make ends meet.  I hope that you all read my Facebook posts and blogs about how to be a better networker.  These tips and reminders can truly help you get more business referrals and build your name in the industry.

And watch our website,, for news and listings of our upcoming monthly Bridal Networking events.

Cindy Lieber
OC Brides

Source:  Economic Times -- Industry News
New York Times Jan 31, 2012,

Networking is like brushing your teeth: Does it feel natural or enjoyable? Not really. Is it enough, however, to brush only when a toothache occurs? Regrettably, no. In the same way, networking requires constant and careful attention for a prolonged period of time.

In their new report, 'Creating and Nurturing Your Social Network: The Art of Building Long-term Mutually Beneficial Relationships', Fabrizio Ferraro and Conor Neill of the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa at the University of Navarra in Spain discuss what networking is.

They suggest that the familiar scramble for assistance when something urgent is needed - a job, some advice or a charitable donation - is not actually networking, but rather part of the 'sales' process.
Most real networking relationships will be developed long before you actually need them.
Networking does not come naturally to most people. A bountiful garden is not created overnight. The plants are selected with careful deliberation and nurtured through time. Unwanted weeds are slowly identified and removed.

Begin with communication. Ask lots of questions of the people you meet, and show an interest in their passions. Simple requests for advice or contact suggestions make it easy for others to help you. You need to make a deposit in the relationship bank before asking for a large withdrawal.
Continue with appreciation. Always let people know you appreciate their help. A written thank-you note or a thoughtful act stands out in a world in which email reigns supreme.

Don't forget to inventory. It doesn't hurt to make a list every now and then. Who do you know? Even more important, who do you want to know? Here are some practical considerations to help you master the art of building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships:

Our teamwork ability and relationship-management skills are every bit as important as the projects we undertake. It pays to acknowledge the value of the networking process and make space for it.

Good things take time, and you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. Start building your network long before you need it.

It often begins with a compliment about a presentation or project. If you offer someone help, be sure to follow through. Trust and reputation depend on reliability.

While it's easier to befriend people who are like you, it's always possible to find some middle ground with others, no matter how different they may appear at first. Step outside your comfort zone and learn from people with diverse backgrounds, objectives and incentives. Bill Gates once said in an interview that he prefers to read an entire magazine, not only the parts that interest him. That way, he always learns something new.

Most social relationships are born out of proximity. However, proximity won't help if you don't try to get actively involved in relationship.


Successful leaders influence contacts from one network to another. Think about the people in your contact list. Who needs attention? Who is owed favours or needs your help? You can begin thinking of your network as a lifetime journey.

Find venues and situations in which you actually enjoy networking, rather than forcing yourself to schmooze in uncomfortable settings. Make time to lead a well-rounded life outside of work.

It can be a powerful, rewarding experience to share time with people who value you, not what you do nor what you bring them. These relationships are a valuable source of energy and self-confidence.

Networking is not all about what others can do for you. Think about what you can bring to the table. In all aspects of life, networking doesn't come down to the question, "How will this benefit me?" It makes more sense to ask, "'How can I add to this situation?" You will be rewarded in time as your garden grows.

Source:  Economic Times -- Industry News
New York Times Jan 31, 2012, 04.37AM IST


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