They say that the key to happiness and longevity is having meaningful relationships with others. This means having a support system of family, friends, business associates and clients who are there for you because you are always there for them.
In business this concept conjures up the word networking. Don’t run screaming into the night: this does not mean dragging yourself to meetings and seminars where you exchange business cards with people you don’t know and pursue meaningless threads of conversation trying to find something of mutual interest. I’m talking about a different kind of networking.
We call it Value Based Networking™.
Value Based Networking is about more than just selling. It’s about having people in your life who are in a position to help you gain access to key decision makers and to new and exciting opportunities. It’s about not just surviving – but thriving – in today’s complex economy. It’s about having people in your life who can help your career and who also can enrich your life.
As the name implies, Value Based Networking is about creating value for others before you expect to receive value from them. It is the mutual give and take that results in a winning situation for everyone involved.
People naturally want to repay the kindness of others, and if cultivated properly, Value Based Networking can not only lead to strong and positive relationships, it also can lead to personal connections, more referrals, increased sales, measurable success and lasting impressions.
We all have lots of people in our lives. Most we barely know, some are nodding acquaintances, a few are everyday associates and co-workers, and a small number are family and friends. The key question is: in what ways can we provide unselfish value to them without expecting anything in return? Here are a few ways:
· Helping solve a problem
· Supporting their dreams
· Helping them understand their thinking
· Letting them help others, including you
· Connecting them with others
· Helping to make them more successful
· Making them feel connected and appreciated
What you need to do is tap into their needs, adapt your communication style to accommodate theirs, and be a WOW person to be around. Networking isn’t that difficult if you simply keep in mind that most people:
· Want unbiased advisors
· Have a limited set of friends
· Have access to a limited set of social events
· Want to help others
· Need people in their network
So approach your social portfolio like you do your financial portfolio: plan, build and diversify. Foster relationships with family, friends and co-workers. Nurture older relationships, but also make new friends.
Value Based Networking is the sincere and constant effort to help others, anticipating that you will, in turn, be helped. So if you do happen find yourself at one of those networking events, ask for two business cards from everyone you meet: one for yourself and one to pass on to somebody else. You never know who you may be able to help; and later, that someone may help you.
# # #
The Balanced WorkLife Company is dedicated to helping the best get better while they enjoy the journey. Our programs give you access to tools and methodologies that allow you to break through the barriers and achieve your goals while also helping you enjoy a balance between and within your job, your career and your personal life. Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting your career, the Balanced WorkLife Company can help you achieve your ultimate potential. To learn more, visit www.balancedworklife.com and download our free report “The 16 Most Common Networking Mistakes to Avoid,” which is jam-packed with information to help you develop and build long-lasting business and social relationships.