Networking is an an oversimplified concept that to some people means shaking a lot of hands, exchanging a lot of business cards and meeting more friendly faces for banal chat at an event. Networking is promoted as the ticket to sales success for growing a B2B enterprise and is widely misunderstood as a hunting ground for prospects. Not so.
Sean Moore, former president of the Midstate Chamber of Commerce did a nice job in this episode of the CEDF podcast, Small Business As Usual, explaining the realities of networking and right approach to the craft.
And this article goes further, philosophically, in exploring whether simply meeting people should be the objective. The author, an attorney and college professor, thinks instead it should be serving. His explanation creates one of those light bulb moments where one might realize that much of what one has been chasing after, perhaps for years, was really a waste. That explains why you might have a stack of business cards of people who won’t call you back. And yes, it’s true the best, most productive, most long-lasting relationships are related to serving others.