Networking is a valuable skill for anyone. Think of it as Relationship Asset Management. Managing your relationship assets is a critical to your business (if not more so) than managing your financial assets.
A blog post called How Do You Network at the Executive Suite blog mentioned that in my Rainmaking Made Easy product I talk about networking as a game and compared this approach with the wisdom of Bob Burg. I was so excited to be mentioned alongside Bob, that I almost missed the fact that it was to say that my approach is loose compared to Bob’s systematic and structured approach. One point the article did make that I very much agree with is that “Trying to mimic a Bob Burg, Suzi Pomerantz or anyone else for that matter will come off as fake or insincere.”
The reason I advocate for making networking a game is that many people find it painful. I often hear from executives who are introverts that they don’t particularly enjoy the “shmoozing” that is required of their position.
Networking, at it’s most basic definition, is not about shmoozing, but about creating a genuine human connection. We do that anyway in life, so why think of networking as something separate requiring a suit, a pocket full of business cards, and a breakfast meeting filled with salespeople?
Networking, if we take the work out of it, would be net-ing. Think of your net worth. If you can have fun with creating genuine human connections (i.e., the game of networking), you can vastly increase your net worth.