Business Networking is one of those very interesting areas of Business and Marketing. When it’s understood well, done properly and really practiced from the right viewpoint it can get you brilliant quality leads (hence clients), give you a great supplier base, give you an opportunity to make friends, create your own community with support all around you and even (as in my case and for many) – you can meet some great potential “Partners”.
I help run the 4Networking Australia Business Community, teach on this topic Face-to-Face and also in my Online Course the Awesome Marketing Vault. Across Sydney I have helped build the Networking Community, met thousands of various people (literally, you would be amazed at how many I have met over the years). I have met the poor, the rich, heroes, villains, women who used their “Charm” on me for referrals and help, men who have tried pushing me around and also so many brilliant and awesome people who many I call close friends today.
Last week I had a very funny experience which actually only annoyed me slightly (as it’s happened to me many times before). One person who I did consider a friend, gave free tips and help too, referrals too and the like – I found out just led me along and hired someone else as a Marketing Mentor. I am not being anti-competitive or anything, I am all for people meeting say me and others that offer parallel services and picking who they “Feel” is the best for them.
If it’s me, that is awesome – if not, then great I wish them luck with the other service provider (although they often come back to me a few months later saying “Sorry Ed”, can you help me fix up all these issues now!). That doesn’t bother me at all.
What was very funny and annoying was I had “This Friend” lead me on, say I am great, pretend they were going to hire me and I helped them with at least 5 x Introductions and did nothing but support them. Then pow, I found out through one of my friends what is going on and I was annoyed for about 45 minutes then I started laughing.
As I write this article I am smiling from several viewpoints. Firstly, I am very glad I understood the true nature of this mean person who took advantage me of. Secondly, it’s not very intelligent what they have done. I won’t bag this person or anything, but is someone asks me about them – I am going to tell the truth of how this person deceived me and took advantage of my good nature. Thirdly, I am amazed at how silly some people are – some are just so wanting to do bad things, they are just drawn to doing the wrong thing even if it commercially doesn’t suit them.
I have seen this many times actually in the business networking space. There have been plenty of people that may “Look Nice” but deep down are quite selfish type of people. What I find funny is that they act in ways that they may be able to justify, but anyone looking in could see how foolhardy and not commercially unwise the bad people are.
After all, if someone helps you and you screw them over – what is everyone else likely to think? Are they going to trust you? Do they want to buy from you?
This brings me back to my titular heading, “The Importance of Give and Take”. For example, the amazing Graphic Designer Lisa Starr has really been helping me out and I am working my butt off to return the favour. Giving her tips, referrals and helping promote her amazing quality out there. Likewise, my friend Drina from Metamosaic – I have done plenty to help her out and she has done so much more in helping me in return.
This is the importance of “Give and Take” when it comes to business networking. If someone does me heaps of favours, I will do it back from them. People I find who ignore that critical thinking wind up the ones who don’t make it in business networking (and quite often don’t succeed in business and you find them back at work a year or two later).
The good news? Most people are wonderful and awesome kind people. Every few months you get bitten like I did last week, but it’s only minor in the scheme of things. I was 100% kind and supportive of this person and this deception was their choice and I am still going to keep trusting new people out there. I love giving first without any expectation!
I hope my example helps give you some context in your own business networking and if you want to learn more about this powerhouse topic, it’s a Module covered in my Online Course “The Awesome Marketing Vault” – right here for instant access!
Thank you for the read and goodbye for now from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor, Networker and Man who loves Awesome People!