One of the most dangerous statements I’ve heard about networking happened right near the beginning of our current economic trevails.  I was at a Chamber lunch and overheard one gentleman speaking to another, “Yeah, things are getting tough in my business, I guess I’m going to have to start networking.”

What’s wrong with this phrase?

The gentleman who was talking obviously didn’t realize that true networking comes from developing mutually beneficial long-term relationships.  Just like good friendships, this takes time.  Depending on your business it could take anything from three months to three years.  You don’t get to skip the steps of Awareness, Relationships, and Trust.  They take time to work through.

… unless you find some way to get a head start on the process.  More on that tomorrow.

I’ve not seen that particular gentleman around the Chamber networking meetings lately.  I wonder how well his “Bonzai!” networking worked out for him.

So, what networking practices are you taking part in right now?