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Is networking a wild goose chase for salespeople?

Some of you might think I'm off my rocker but this is a serious question. Is networking a wild goose chase for salespeople? If it isn't effective then I think it should stop being promoted as a good use of time. Please post your opinion on networking. - by Thomas
What's your definition of networking? - by Jim Klein
Networking can be part of a larger strategy which can be valuable for sales - but it may not. Also it can depend on the product/service, personality of the networker, and quality of the networking groups.

In a situation I've been in with BNI - a specific networking situation called Business Networking International - some folks do very well others don't. The auto mechanice, the financial advisor, the auto insurance salesman do very well. The heating and cooling, home construction, and beauty salon members haven't done very well.

Most of the time networking - I think you have to put it in a specific context as it can mean many things - is a wild goose chase. Many people believe that if you just make lots of friends and cultivate friendships and relationships through networking business will begin to flow and fill up the pipeline.

I could meet a very nice, friendly person at a networking event and over four or five months have a good relationship with this person who is a real estate agent. I get lots of information, I trust and respect this person, and she/he believes one day I might give referrals.

Now let's say I have a life long friend also in real estate who expects the same. I have two relationships in real estate through networking and life contacts.

Four months from now I decide to sell my home and a friend sitting with me at the coffee shop with his buddy who sells real estate introduces me to him. We talk and what he says makes sense to me - I like it. So I go with him.

Both my long term friend and newer friend in real estate have lost out. I tell them - they find out - and aren't happy with me. They fade away from our friendship feeling our friendship wasn't what it was cracked up to be.

What did they thinnk it was all cracked up to be? NOW, each of us has been and will be:

1. me in that situation

2. real estate agent from networking

3. real estate agent from long term friendship

4. friend at the coffee shop

5. friend of the friend at the coffee shop

I network, I socialize, I meet people, but what I count on for sales isn't any of that - it's an immediate need and want to ready to act.

MitchM - by MitchM
Is networking a wild goose chase for salespeople?
That's like asking, is building trusting business relationships a wild goose chase? - by Liberty
"That's like asking, is building trusting business relationships a wild goose chase?" -- Liberty

That's an illogical conclusion, Liberty. People go into network situations and end up creating mistrusting relationships too. The act of networking i.e. meeting people doesn't mean anything other than what comes out of it positive, negative or something else.

MitchM - by MitchM
"That's like asking, is building trusting business relationships a wild goose chase?" -- Liberty

That's an illogical conclusion, Liberty. People go into network situations and end up creating mistrusting relationships too. The act of networking i.e. meeting people doesn't mean anything other than what comes out of it positive, negative or something else.

MitchM
What makes that an illogical conclusion Mitch? The goal of business networking it to build trusting business relationships is it not? - by Liberty
That is the goal, Liberty, but you equate networking with building a trusting relationship and that is an illogical conclusion. The goal and the outcome are two different things.

Building a trusting business can be a wild goose chaise or it can be a goal achieved or something else.

I've seen over and over people step into so called networking situaitons and turn people away from them and not build trusting relationships.

The way you phrase it as a natural consequence of networking is illogical.

MitchM - by MitchM
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