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Business Networking on AND offline

March 27, 2012

This excerpt taken from Heather Townsend’s blogJoined Up Business Networking– is something that we can strongly relate to. Have a read and see if you can use this advice to help you with business networking on AND offline!

I have strongly believed, and advocated over the years that it’s not about ‘on’ OR ‘off’ line networking. It’s about AND. If you strip away the technology, there are the same principles and skills for offline networking and online networking. Very simply, if you wouldn’t do something in a face to face networking environment, then don’t do it in an on line networking environment.

For example, lets’s consider some situations to illustrate this:

1) When you first meet someone in person, I’m guessing you will be very polite, be helpful, try not and offend and chit chat a little? The last thing you would do is push your business card at them and try and get them to sign up for your facebook page and mailing list.The same goes for online networking. So, why do many people when online treat the first conversation as the start of the sales process?

2) When your conversation meeting someone for the first time in person starts to move from small talk, I’m guessing you probably move a little closer together. You’ll probably now be making strong eye contact – and you are now starting in what I call a ‘closed’ formation. The social networking equivalent of this is when you start to converse via private message rather than public message.

3) It doesn’t matter whether you meet someone online or offline, but if they don’t demonstrate their credibility to you, then you are not going to refer or recommend their services to others.

4) Success from networking is based on the strength of your relationships. How you maintain these relationships is up to you, but regular communication is key to maintaining and building these relationships. You have a choice to communication via real time methods or virtual methods.

What do you think?

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2 Comments
  1. Totally agree. I worry about people who follow me on Twitter and immediately want me to like their FB page, not very polite. Pls RT also grates. Always happy to connect on LinkedIN when I’ve met somebody and always interested to know what people do. But overt selling is a relationship killer.

  2. The following on Twitter is one that i imagine is worth researching – do people like what you say (Stephen Fry comes to mind), pick up a particular hashtag, live in a common area, just want ‘access’ to your followers – a thesis I am sure!
    LinkedIn is good especially for business – unlike the like my FB page – as there is a huge variety of contacts from so many different businesses/organisations. If some one sends me an invitation to connect I do weigh it up – are they new to LinkedIn? What do they do? Where are they based? These 2 questions that help me decide whether they 1.could be a potential visitor to an event and 2. will know other people who may be potential visitors. If they are connected then when you do send out messages you never know who is going to read them, pass them on and even action them. As you say never overtly sell – just keep informed!

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