Networking? Bring Something to the Party

When you were young, do you remember your parents making a big fuss over what they’d be bringing to the party? If it was a summer picnic, Mom would maybe make a big vat of potato salad. If it was a holiday extravaganza, you can bet the host would be getting a bottle of good wine.

Now you’re grown… and, just like your parents taught you, if you’re attending a party, you bring something. The same is true for awol academy reviews – whether it’s in person at a convention hall, or online at a forum that you drop by regularly to participate in the discussions.

Did you ever notice… not everyone who networks for business remembers to “bring something to the party?” And that’s too bad, because those of us who’ve gained clients and product sales via networking know that “giving without expectation” is the real way to gain a following.

Maybe you’ve heard of the Law of Attraction. LOA states that whatever you put into circulation will grow. In other words: it’s all about investments, or what you put in.

Networking is an investment. It’s a gift of your knowledge, your time, and your attention, that comes back to you tenfold over time.

Now, of course you can’t bring a covered dish or mint green party supplies to a networking event. Well, I’m sure you could, and if you decide to, Paper Eskimo carries some amazing party supplies, but all kidding aside – there are things that you CAN contribute — gifts to give that will bring you return on investment for your effort:

You can bring your expertise – so that other people can benefit from your teachings.
You can bring your questions – so that others may share what they know.
You can bring an open mind – so that you may learn from another person’s point of view.
You can bring YOURSELF – so that people may get a genuine picture of who you are, what you stand for, and why they might want to do business with you in the future.

Let’s say you’re an electrician, and in your networking travels you come across a person who’s purchased an older home. They want to know if they should upgrade to a higher voltage system.

Your choices are, a. Share with them the truth about what you know, and include details – basically giving away your “trade secrets.” Or, b: Pass them a “virtual business card” and tell them to call you for a quote.

Now, many people would likely choose option b., which is pass the card. But that’s the wrong way to go about it. Why? You’ve brought something, right?

Wrong. Bringing your card is not an investment of your time, knowledge, or expertise. Granted, it’s better than nothing… but a business card alone is not going to help you get known. First, the gesture is self-serving, not other-people serving, which is what you should strive for if you want to become known in your field. Second, while your card may look professional… it doesn’t differentiate you from every other electrician in the crowd.

In a gathering of 50 people, the electrician who takes the time to explain what he knows, point by point, may get 20 people who miss what he said, 20 people who understand what he said but don’t do anything, 8 people who attempt to do what he said on their own, and 2 people who decide to do business with him.

But the thing is: the one who makes the effort will be the one who is REMEMBERED in the crowd. And those two people will tell two people. And so on… and so on. Sure, the electician may not get a swarm of new prospects overnight. But the truth is that people remember other people who share with them, listen to them, and treat them well.

Unfortunately, most networking I’ve been exposed to is all about “What’s in it for me?” And that kind of networking just doesn’t fly in the Information Age!

Whether it’s a bottle of wine for the host and hostess, a dish to pass at a company party, or spending the time to get to know others at a networking event… Bring something! It’s especially important to bring YOURSELF.

Find out what people do/need so that you can be of real service to them instead of forcing yourself and your services on them.

One of the greatest gifts we can give others is our undivided attention. Take a genuine interest in others. Listen. See if there’s a way you can help.

NEWSFLASH: I’ve added another chapter to my life by joining C.A.S.T. Recovery, a Los Angeles based outpatient drug rehab program which specializes in designing highly individualized recovery plans with appropriate professionals to support a client’s health, accountability, and success.

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