Tuesday, 26 February 2019

The importance of networking - and why face to face still counts!

The Manager recently published my views on networking and the true value of it. Here's what I said:
Modern business may be increasingly digital, but networking is more crucial than ever. In a competitive marketplace, great networkers know how to build their contacts list to build strong relationships, to make profitable introductions and to leverage opportunities for mutual gain! But what many people don't realise is just how important face to face networking still is. Yes, social media plays a vital role in professional relationship management - but never be fooled into thinking that it replaces that vital eye-contact, handshake and personal experience of an individual.

How do I know? I have been a prolific networker for many years and built up a network of over 5,000 contacts in that time - many before Outlook and social tools were even invented! And the investment in that slow, methodical building of business contacts has hugely paid off in terms of knowledge, career-building and early-door opportunities. I've also made some tremendous friends and helpful mentors along the way. So here are my top reasons to invest in your own networking activity - regardless of the industry that you work in or the stage of your career.

Professional relationships

You must build business relationships for a variety of reasons. Networking is just one aspect of doing so - but a crucial one, which helps your professional development by broadening your access to varied ideas, opinions, expertise and insights.


It builds your own profile and ensures that you are always present when handshakes are happening and profitable conversations are happening.


It gives you resilience and a powerful resource for the future - you never know when you will need to call on your network.

A potential supplier base

Your network will give you access to an excellent potential base of suppliers - something that many businesses struggle to find.


Whether you are looking for your next opportunity or seeking to find great talent for your own hiring role, networking puts you in front of the right people in an informal setting.

Business development

Every informal business conversation can herald the opportunity to build a mutually-satisfying business relationship!


People will naturally refer other people - so the power of your network vastly exceeds your own contact card list.


Never underestimate the power and value of a good social occasion. People remember people that they like - and think of them when business opportunities arise.

Everyone is worthwhile

Never write someone off as 'not worth knowing'. You'll be amazed at who turns out to be helpful!

Nurture your network

Use social media and email to reach out by all means, but look for opportunities to meet for a coffee, to link up at an event or hold your own small talk or drinks event to get everyone together. Aim for at least 4 hours a week of networking activity to see real results!

No comments:

Post a Comment