Is Networking Making a Comeback?
This may be personal happenstance rather than any kind of documentable trend, but I get the sense that networking is making a bit of a comeback. Personally I believe that is a good thing.
In recent years, it seems that networking has gotten a bad rap. To be sure, even the most outgoing individuals have experienced those business events that are as awkward as a bunch of shy teenage boys trying their feeble pick-up lines on girls at the high school dance. Rejection abounds and does anyone really want your business card anyway? Besides, we now have social media to provide us with networking opportunities online. Much more efficient and far less risky, right?
While I am a strong proponent of online channels like LinkedIn, I don’t believe they can ever replace personal relationships. And personal relationships generally occur through personal interaction.
As I look back at our agency track record in business development over the years, many of our best clients have come to us based on personal relationships. Some through referrals. Some through shared interests and/or involvement with community organizations. And some through good, old-fashioned networking.
It’s basic chemistry. People hire people they know and trust. Building a relationship of trust can begin through an introduction online or in person, but it ends with a very real personal connection.
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