Remember the Golden Rule of Networking?
All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.When we give to someone, we take an important step toward eliciting those know, like and trust feelings toward us. When someone knows you care about them enough to refer business their way, they feel good about you.
Actually, they feel great about you, which produces the natural desire to give back to you. They also know that its in their best interests to cultivate a win/win relationship with you.
Of course, it doesnt have to be actual business that you give. It could be information that would help them in their business, personal, social or recreational lives, or any other area of interest to them. Perhaps you suggested a book (or sent them a copy) you knew would be of value to them. Maybe you heard their son or daughter was looking for work at a certain company and, knowing someone there who knew the personnel director, you made a call and put in the kind word that helped ensure employment.
Whats important to remember is to give, not with an emotional demand that the person to whom youre giving must repay you in kind, but purely out of the joy of adding increase to the life of another human being.
This is the grand paradox of giving and receiving:
When you give purely out of the love of giving, you cannot help but receive. Yet when you give only in order to receive, it doesnt work out nearly as well!One reason is that people are attuned to your intent; its human nature. When you give only in order to get, it comes across as such. More often than not, they can tell. Some people have a knack for getting away with this more than others, but eventually it will come back to haunt them.
When you give because its something you desire to do, and do so without the expectation of direct reciprocation, youll find that the Law of Cause and Effect works for you in ways the typical business person might never even imagine.
Thomas Power, founder of the online network, Ecademy, and author of Networking For Life, puts it very nicely: The energy arises from a willing suspension of self-interest.
That sentence perfectly encapsulates the one trait common to those I call superstar networkers. These are people who constantly ask themselves how they can add to the life and business of the other person, as opposed to what they can get from them.
Please understand, this does not mean they dont expect to prosper. In fact, they know theyll prosper, and in a huge way. But they are not emotionally attached to having to reap the rewards right then and there, or even ever, directly from that person. Thus, they can fully focus on the giving part of being a successful networker. They know that the more they give, the more theyll eventually get. Yes, it really does work that way.
Lets take a closer look at what I mean by superstar networkers.
Superstar Networkers Superstar networkers, those whose businesses are extremely profitable and whose personal lives are filled with friends and loving relationships, share two powerful traits in common:
Number one, they are givers.First lets discuss what I dont mean by givers. There are those who seem to be givers, but their methodology is so sharply limiting that it doesnt fulfill the qualities of giving weve been discussing nor does it produce the same results. Example:
Number two, they are connectors.
The Quid Pro Quo Networker
This is the person who gives only in order to get something back. (Or, as the esteemed Dr. Hannibal Lecter put it so eloquently, Quid pro quo, Clarice quid pro quo. ) This type of pseudo-networker always has an agenda and soon gains a reputation for such.
While a QPQ networker can and sometimes does attain his share of business, he will never develop the kind of long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with others that the superstar networker will enjoy. He will never elicit in others those feelings of knowing, liking and trusting that is the hallmark of the genuine networkers relationships. If he does get anything back from the relationship, it will at most be exactly what he gave in the first place and no moreand most likely, it will come grudgingly. Whats more, it most likely will come back from that one source alone, and only that one time. Any success this person achieves will be mere inches on the yardstick of profitable, superstar networking.