I Take The Lead
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Abigail Dougherty http://www.straightedgesolutions.biz/ is a member of i Take The Lead’s Tanasbourne B2B group in Oregon. https://www.itakethelead.com/ Members absolutely love her. She understands that networking is about relationships. Thank you, Abgail, for your words of wisdom:

Networking is very misunderstood. Three common misconceptions about networking are:
1.Networking is synonymous with selling. I call this “see you – sell you”.
This is seldom successful and hurts your future opportunity with the recipient of that behavior.

2. Networking means collecting business cards. This misconception believes success is the number of cards collected at an event. At least until someone asks for details about the people and businesses represented by the cards.

3. etworking means finding people who can help me. Anyone who cannot help me, is not worth my time to network. Job seekers are the most likely to make this mistake

Successful networking is based on informal relationships that have the potential to be mutually beneficial. Three critical points are: INFORMAL, POTENTIAL and MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL.

Excellent networkers keep track of everyone they meet and they invest the time to get to know the other person well enough to understand what they do, who they really are – beyond the title on a business card and how they interact with the rest of the world. They develop a relationship with the other person. Only then can we understand how to send business to them, and when to contact them for help with a challenge of their own. We all know certain personality styles we would not recommend to our next-door neighbor or our best friend, no matter how good they are at their business. We also know neighbors and acquaintances we would not inflict on a business person we admire.

Networking requires genuine interest in the other person and a system to keep track of the people you meet so you can meet them repeatedly over time to build the relationship.

Networking has been a powerful technique for centuries. Otto Von Bismarck struggled to unify Germany under one ruler during the Franco Prussian Wars. Then he discovered that removing the leaders (usually the elder men) of each principality destroyed their network and stopped them from re-taking their region as soon as the main army moved on. This action is the genesis of the modern retirement laws in corporations today. Contributed by Abigail Dougherty

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