At a networking event the other day I got talking to a rather fabulous business woman and the conversation went like this;
Mrs Fab “So and So is coming today.”
Me “Oh, really. I’ve not seen her in years. I must ask her how business is. Mrs So and So does this and this and is very unique in that.”
Mrs Fab “She doesn’t do this and this, she does that and that.”
Me “No I’m sure she does this and this. She was on the radio talking about it.”
Mrs Fab “She definitely does that and that I know because I was talking to her yesterday!”
Leaving me flabbergasted that I had Mrs So and So labelled so wrong and so for years had been under the illusion she did this and this. Turns out she did do an aspect of what I had thought she did for a living but because I had not chatted to her since, I didn’t know about the vast array of other things her unique company did. Which meant that I couldn’t possibly have been out there being a good networker for her.
The moral of this story. If you don’t network regularly what illusions are being created about what you do?
Turns out if I had known truly what Mrs So and So did for a living I could have put work to her at least twice in the last few years, as I couldn’t find anyone on the planet that does what Mrs So and So does.
Assumptions get made all the time in networking. And here is what assumptions do for your networking success:
Not good right?
So how do you stop networking assumptions from happening?
Allow other networkers to learn what they want to learn about what you do. NOT what you THINK they need to know.
Reinforce your networking with good social media networking. That means your message is the same where ever anyone goes. So that they really feel like they can connect with you. (Not repeating the same stuff I hasten to add.)
If you don’t understand what someone does, ask questions. How can you be a successful networker for your new contact if you don’t understand the nature of their profession?
Be consistent with your action.
And love it, because let’s be honest networking is just so good for business!