When most people think of the term networking, in a business context, it will usually conjure images of going to a networking event and standing around awkwardly with a cup of coffee whilst trying to break into a conversation and make some acquaintances. However, business networking is far broader than that and emcompasses a wide range of skills and strategies that, when properly applied, will form a consistent source of new business opportunities and help shape careers and businesses alike.
A business network is more than just connections
A diverse and high quality network is in itself, a very powerful asset. Rather than a network being merely a group of contacts, it should be viewed as a dynamic ever evolving ecosystem that will not only create opportunities for you as the individual, but encourage cross collaboration, build goodwill, open doors and become a self perpetuating mechanism for attracting more connections and gaining influence as it grows.
The professional’s best asset
Generating income in the world of professional services and higher level sales, is seldomly a quick process. New business often comes around not from a sporadic sales opportunity or employing high pressure tactics, but from attaining a level of trust over time and a market perception that you are an expert in your field of work.
This level of “trusted advisor” status comes about from a mixture of time, experience and social validation.
A worthwhile, long term investment
By investing in the networking capabilities of your team you will see more than just the potential of higher fee income from those individuals. In building networks you can bring wider cultural benefits across a firm, a more dynamic and entrepreneurial approach to solving challenges and boost the capabilities of a second tier management structure.