How Do You Network??????
Posted:October 9th, 2012
Are you a “Schmooooooozey” or one of his buddies?
Growing up in Queens, NY, I really didn’t get exposed to a lot of wild life or farm animals. The closest I really ever came to anything other than the neighbor’s dog and cat was the occasional squirrel that would run up and down a tree, so as an adult I am still fascinated by animals of all sorts.
Some friends of mine own a dairy farm about an hour north of Pittsburgh and I got to visit this summer. Since I was a city girl and “not from here”, I got the full tour of the farm; sheep, goats, chickens and yes, even the cows. The cows really impressed me, I must tell you! They were pretty darn smart! This particular herd will line up every day at 4pm, just about in single file along the fence in order to head to the barn to be milked! You could set your watch to them! I was fascinated!
During my farm tour, I came across some calves being weaned. There were 3 of them. As soon as they saw me they came towards me at a rapid pace. Scared me a little I must admit! As soon as two of them realized I had nothing they wanted, they turned away as quickly as they came at me, all except for one of them. He approached a little slower than the other two as if he knew I wasn’t “from here”. He lingered next to me as if he wanted to get to know me a little since I was a complete stranger. I tentatively reached out my hand and he nuzzled it with his nose. He wasn’t interested in what I had for him like the other two, but it seemed like he just wanted to connect with me! I stood there for a few minutes before I got the courage up to pet the top of his head, which he was so gracious to let me do. We had a moment! Me, this city girl and this little calf, who I then deemed as “Schmooooooozey” the cow. (What else would you expect a girl from NY to name a cow?????) During this moment, I had a huge revelation! ALL CREATURES JUST WANT TO CONNECT AND FEEL CONNECTED!
This caused me to ponder about why some people are effective at networking events and why others aren’t. (What? Don’t you think about networking when you’re on a farm?????) The answer came from Schmooooooozey and his buddies. Like his buddies, some people will “charge” to see what others have for them and when they come up empty retreat back to their “herd” or the people they are already familiar with. Others, like my new friend, Schmooooooozey, are there to connect and begin to build relationships! WOW, the things you can learn from a cow!
SO, when it comes to networking, are you like Schmooooooozey? If you understand that networking is about making connections and NOT about making sales, you will enter that next networking event in a different mindset. Not just to “work the room” and see how many cards you can have in your pocket by the end, but walk away with 4 or 5 solid connections of people you can help and in turn can help you. This is not a get rich quick activity, but if you invest your time in quality connections it will pay off in dividends which will sustain you and your business for years to come!