Networking Know-How

By Business Advisor Lisa LaMaitre

When I moved to the Canberra region in the early 1990’s I only knew one local person. It was a struggle for my shy self to arrive at University in Canberra, solo. My first year at Uni saw me with a small group of friends, and me doing my best to live a hermit lifestyle! Now fast forward 30+ years and I’m proud to say that my local network is extensive, diverse, and supportive.

I made a conscious decision around 15 years to invest my time and effort into learning how to build my network, and then implemented what I learned. I often meet business people who don’t see the point of networking, they think it’s all about the sales and pushy marketing. Or if they go to one event and not get a paying customer from it, they feel like they’ve wasted their time.

I remember chatting to one of my school friends, a few years back, who worked at a large multinational at the time. She was against the company’s new directive for her to get out networking. I told her that networking helps you open doors and find support for your business and career. It can bring you new opportunities, teach you new skills, and connect you with like-minded people. It can give you access to information and insights, and fast track your work and goals.

My favourite definition for networking is that it’s the opportunity to meet someone again. Think of networking the same as when you meet someone you would like to know better. You would invite them to have lunch, connect on socials, or grab a coffee. Networking when it’s done ‘properly’ is about building working relationships and friendships over the longer term. It’s about building trust. People prefer to work with and buy from people that they knowlike and trust. The attributes of ‘know, like and trust’ don’t show up after one meeting. They take time, and multiple interactions to build and become of value.

Contact Lisa for additional insights on networking.
E:     T: 0417 274 447