Managing the Business Networks for You

We humans are social animals.If the evolution of man since prehistoric times: we need others to live. A few thousand years ago, it was even a question of survival and today, it is a question of social bond, mutual aid and sharing. “Alone we go faster, together we go further”, as the African proverb says. Here is Bashar Ibrahim with the best solutions for you.

First step: identify what are your networks. And I say “networks” in the plural because we all have several.

Then, before contacting your interlocutor, it is essential to know why (what is your need) and to identify who to contact (what are your targets).

Be careful, “network” does not mean “prospect”. In any case, not directly. It is a complementary approach which involves above all giving in order to receive.

Finally, developing professional contacts is within everyone’s reach. You just need to find the way to “network” that works best for you and go.

We all have networks, identify yours.

According to a well-known study by social psychologist Stanley Milgram carried out in the 60s, we are all within 6 contacts of any individual in a given country.

Since then, digital social networks have been created. According to more recent sources from Facebook, the figure would be between 4 and 5 contacts.

Take 5 minutes to think about it and you might be surprised.

Whether in our everyday life, through our professional activities, in our leisure time, at school, in business, we are constantly interacting with other people. And, we connect with these people.

Identify your networks

Focus on “weak” links

Sociologists define 2 types of links in our social networks. There are “strong” ties and “weak” ties, depending on how close we are to these people and how often we have relationships.

So-called “strong” ties are those we have with our close circle (spouse, family, friends, etc.) and so-called “weak” ties are our other acquaintances.

Perhaps contrary to what we spontaneously think, in a “network” approach, it is our “weak” links that are often more effective.

Indeed, our “strong” bonds are more tinged with affect. And affect can, even unconsciously, slow us down in a “network” approach.

Furthermore, our “strong” ties do not necessarily put us in contact with the people we need, depending on what we are looking for in our project.

Target your requests

Before contacting your interlocutors, think about why (what is your goal) and therefore who you need to contact (what are your targets).

Is it for:

  • Find information on such and such a subject?
  • To identify a new supplier or service provider?
  • Share experiences?
  • have recommendations, contacts in your sector of activity or in another sector?
  • develop your knowledge of a field or a profession?

Give in order to receive

What differentiates “networking” from prospecting is its philosophy.

We prospect to contact potential customers, sell products or services. Or on a more individual level, to find work for example.In “networking”, there may be a dimension of information research, contacts to ultimately develop a project or a desire for professional retraining. Of course, the purpose is generally not only the contact or the exchange of your news.

Jonathan Rice

Back to top