If you answered "all the time" then you are correct. If you had a different answer, go back and read the previous sentence.
As owners, as leaders and as business professionals, we are ALWAYS networking when interacting with others, when we are talking to our team, when we are talking to friends, associates, prospects and clients.
Last week at a social event with a group of five of us, I was introduced to two new people. I actually know both of their fathers. Yes we are two degrees maybe three degrees of separation in some cases!
One of these new connections has recently started a new business. We talked about personal stuff such as family, weddings and then the topic moved to business. Turns out there may be a good discussion next week to see if we can help him with their new business. It is amazing where you may find an opportunity simply by networking with others. For me, meeting these two new people and making new acquaintances surpasses my expectations. Having a business discussion which may lead to an opportunity is an added bonus. This seems to happen often and natural as you develop relationships.
Recently, an associate and I each invited a guest to lunch for the purpose of having four owners enjoy lunch and discuss business. We had an open and candid discussion about business, shared our good opportunities and our teams along with some challenges we face along the way. Telling our stories, listening, asking questions, sharing our experiences and referring others that can help was a great way to network.
Small group networking can be powerful, more focused and more meaningful. Larger groups are good to meet a few more new people and to have the opportunity to interact with others where you may not have an opportunity otherwise. We even created the WindsorEssex Circle simply to make connections, create opportunities and have good discussions.
There are a lot of great networking events and organizations running them. We are fortunate in our Region to have all these opportunities so close to home. I am very passionate and enjoy networking all the time.
When are you networking?