Those of you who’ve read my blog for a while know I do a lot of networking. I’m also a big fan of social media for connecting with other business people as well as with customers. Just today someone who is part of one of the networking groups I’m in on one of the social media sites vented some frustration. Many of the newer members to the group have been posting what amounts to one commercial after another.
Now, it’s important in networking that people know what you sell. It’s important to share the benefits occasionally. But, “Hey, this company I’m with has a great opportunity. Join my team now and it will pay off big!” is not part of networking. “My company’s better than any other company. All other companies selling similar stuff are just peddling crap” isn’t either.
There is a big difference between networking, which is connecting with other business people so that you can send people their way when you meet someone who needs their services/products, and selling. Selling is great. Selling is how I make my commission. But, if I spend all of my time selling and not networking, I’m wasting an opportunity.
If I share information that’s valuable, I show that I’m a good resource. In my case that means cooking and food info. It means making sure that I know what I’m talking about. If I don’t have answers I know where to find them. When I take the time to get to know the other businesspeople in the group, I show that I care. When I send a customer their way, I show I trust them. Now, imagine that one of their friends, family, or customers has a question about food or is looking for someone who sells kitchen tools. Who do you think they’re going to suggest? Will it be me, or will it be that person who takes every networking opportunity to voice a commercial or bash the competition?