Sometimes we help them stand,
Sometimes they help us stand.

It’s not the techniques.

Techniques make you comfortable, efficient, and effective, but won’t guarantee networking success.

It’s not the events.

Events make it possible for you to meet new people, but meeting new people isn’t enough.

It’s not the one-to-one’s.

One-to-one’s give you the opportunity to deepen the relationship, but the relationships aren’t enough.

It’s not the phone calls, emails, or even the handwritten notes.

They all give you the means to maintain the relationships, but that still isn’t enough.

It’s not even the referrals you give.

Though, we’re getting closer to the mark.

In truth, at the bottom of it all, all of these things are simply tools — tools that can be used for good or ill. The good networker and the high-pressure sales guy can both use all of these mechanisms. One of them is simply using the tools to build a resource, the other to manipulate a prospect.

No, if we truly get back to basics, the one factor that will make the difference between success and failure in your networking practice is…

You have to care.

You must understand that, while you are networking, it’s more important for you to be looking out for the other person’s benefit than looking out for your own. Networking only works when you give first and don’t worry about whether it will return to you.

The path you build to their success is the one you will walk to reach your own.

Photo by Ned Horton