Networking can be a valuable tool for generating new business, hiring new people, or finding your next job.However, networking doesn’t always have to be entirely about getting that job, or landing that next big client. Sometimes, bringing together a group of people from disparate backgrounds can provide you with a sounding board for your ideas, and fresh insights from a totally different perspective.
I recently joined a women’s “MasterMind” group in Victoria BC, made up of women in the local business community whose primary objective is to meet monthly and discuss the goals, challenges, and latest accomplishments we each have in our respective business roles; with a view to support each other and bring new ideas to the table. The group is made up of women from different industries, including: Marketing, Construction, Real Estate, and Interior Design.
Being that I am always working to better understand our clients and their needs, the group has been a great opportunity to find out from ‘client side’ group members their perspectives on marketing, what some of their challenges and concerns are, what marketing activities they see as valuable and why, and ultimately how they make marketing decisions without the pressure of a ‘sales situation’. Outside of the formal new business scenario, I find that their candid responses and fresh insights give me a new perspective from which to draw as we look to continually add value to our clients’ worlds. As well, hearing about their industries and their day-to-day work only helps to broaden my understanding of the local business landscape.
And, as is always the case, if you continue to do great work and build relationships with new people, opportunities for new business referrals will be a natural output.
To me, REAL networking isn’t about how many connections you have on LinkedIn, or how many people follow you on Twitter; but rather about the genuine connections you make with real people along the way and, ultimately, the learning and growth experiences you come to share with them.
Let’s hear from you – how do you engage in meaningful networking?
- Erin Sullivan, Director of Client Services