Networking is obviously an essential part of network marketing. Every successful network marketer knows this to be true. Although networking is such an intricate part of network marketing, the two terms are not synonymous. However there are many similarities. Both rely heavily on people skills. Both require people to confront their fear of talking to other people. Both carry with them the risk of rejection. Both also carry with them enormous opportunity. And to some people, both are considered dirty words.
Of course people that consider networking as something that is ‘not done’ don’t understand what networking is really about. The same can be said of people that think network marketing is something that is beneath them. Many people think of networking as a way to get connected solely for their own advancement in life. In that respect a person might feel that it is unethical or not noble to network. This line of thinking stems from the idea that advancement will always come at the expense of someone else, that success in life is a zero-sum game. These people often look at network marketing from the same perspective. They think of profiting from other people’s efforts as something that is negative and not fair to them. In reality, successful networkers will tell you that it doesn’t work that way at all. Networking doesn’t have to be at anybody’s expense and the business of network marketing doesn’t reward anyone for taking advantage of others. It actually rewards people for helping other people to succeed. In that respect it may very well be the most ethical business model in the world today.
A lot of the negativity around networking can be explained by the different types of networkers. Some can be considered ‘hunters’, moving in for a quick kill, after which they move out again. They often operate without regard of the other persons interest and because of this they will enjoy the fruits of success for only a limited period of time. Often it will not take long before people find out what’s really driving the hunter. Once they see that he or she is only looking after his or her own interests, their willingness to interact with this person will quickly evaporate. By contrast, truly successful networkers are often ‘farmers’ who spend a lot of time sowing and nourishing their relationships, instead of just focusing on reaping. They invest in their network, they energize their network. They use their network, but they never ever abuse their network! And their network knows this. A true networker will always keep the interests of others in mind. That’s why working with a true networker is so enjoyable. Networkers are often very likeable and as such people like to interact with them.
Networking is a skill that is essential to all businesses not just network marketing. Although network marketing differs in many ways from the more traditional forms of doing business, the importance of networking is just as prevalent. If not more so. A network marketer that doesn’t know how to network will be out of business in no time. Network marketing is first and foremost a people’s business and this implies that the ability to effectively work with people is absolutely critical. This is why successful network marketers are extremely adept at networking. Many have found out over time that developing this skill can pay off in many areas outside their network marketing business as well. Business owners who have started a home based business on the side often apply their enhanced networking and people’s skills in their traditional business with great success. For some network marketers this spin-off has earned them more money than the income from their network marketing business itself.
So whether you are in network marketing or in a more traditional type of business, don’t underestimate the importance of becoming an effective networker. And if you really want to master this skill you may find there is a lot to learn from good network marketers. So if you happen to know anybody that fits that description, try and benefit from their knowledge on the topic. It will surely help you network your way to success!