What is the difference between networking and relationship-building?
We’ve sparked a bit of conversation about the difference between networking and relationship-building, we think that it’s huge… but to us what is interesting that some people don’t know or see the difference.
What is networking?
- It’s an environment for the exchange of business referrals.
- Invitation to meet other business people.
- Some groups attendance is mandatory.
- It’s a place to broadcast what you do to the whoever will listen.
- Networking gets associated with the superficial and shallow exchange of contact information, mass-adding of people on Linkedin, and constant swapping of business cards.
- When you are networking according to those who teach the topic poorly, you are doing things that are focused on the idea of ladder-climbing and worshipping the practice of exchanging things for mutual benefit.
- Networking is the idea that you are doing things in exchange for specific outcomes based on reciprocity.
- We’re always told that networking is not selling, so why are we always sold to?
Relationship building is:
- Building a relationship with the person, not the position.
- Like all relationships, the relationship needs to be maintained.
- Is all about taking the time to understand other people and giving true gifts without any expectation of return.
- It’s asking those in your network for the things that you need and being honest about where you struggle as well as helping others where they struggle.
- Catching-up with each other on a regular basis and walking the extra mile, it’s good for your own mental health.
- People tend to turn to someone that gives them a sense of trust and honesty. It takes time to build an empire, but only seconds to lose it.
- Your contact list isn’t worth much if you’re not building some basic trust, meeting people in real life, and getting interested in them and what they’re about.
So to wrap it up:
Networking is the idea that you are doing things in exchange for specific outcomes based on reciprocity. Building trusted relationships is the idea that you are balancing your giving as well as asking without a focus on reciprocity and expectation.
At Thrive we think that the best time to start building trusted relationships is when you don’t need anything.