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From Business Cards to Business Relationships: Personal Branding and Profitable Networking Made Easy, 2nd Edition by Allison Graham

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Chapter 4

What Networking Is Not

The best way to truly understand business networking is to first understand what it is not. While networking has caused people to waste excessive amounts of time and money, profitable networking, the kind taught in this book, will give you a significant return on investment. Networking is not just about showing up at events and schmoozing.

Unprofessional networkers who confuse “networking” with “selling” create many of the misconceptions and negative connotations associated with networking. Far too often over-eager professionals blur the line between building relationships and entering the sales process without the right prequalifications. This provides an uncomfortable and frustrating experience for the person on the receiving end. When done properly and professionally, networking will open the door to new sales and referrals, but not if you force those desired outcomes on people you just met. Jumping the gun too quickly will raise the red warning flags for them; something just won't feel right and they'll be standoffish rather than open to developing a connection.

Going to networking events expecting to land new clients or sell your product sets you up for failure and frustration. This misguided philosophy permeates networking events. If, shortly after an introduction, a person rushes into a sales pitch without qualification of interest, need, or fit for the product or service being sold, then the opportunity to build a relationship is missed, ...

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