Strategic networks are built on relationships, but what type of networker are you? Julia Palmer explains how strategic networking can be your best insurance in a changing world.
Nearly every job title I have trained to network over the years has shared the sentiment that they dislike networking.
There is no escaping the fact that the word ‘networking’ has a dirty connotation in business. In my opinion, this is because most people have been taught the wrong way to network or not been taught at all! It is an expectation of each role in some capacity or another, but unfortunately most people fear, dread, or simply avoid it. Worse still are those who feel forced to network and put on a different persona to help them cope, making them quite awkward and sometimes even fake versions of themselves – never nice to meet!
The financial services industry is one of the most networked, but the last few years have seen the gaps widen and the pressure increase. Having worked closely with some of the market’s biggest banks, insurers, mortgage brokers and financial planners, I know only too well how vital relationships are to success. The good news is: by taking a look at how you network and by making changes to be more strategic, you can increase your influence and operate in stronger networks.
I hope to help shine some positive light on networking and the consequent networks we produce, with a view to helping individuals and organizations get better returns from both.
Apply your networking strategy to all your relationships – organisational, industry, suppliers, stakeholders, clients, community and, of course, personal.