We were taught to be brave and walk up to any strangers and start talking. That is what they train us to do in school and at work.
There is nothing wrong with that as everyone comes to a networking event to network (duh). Our expectations are set to make small talks and meet new people.
The problem comes when we start to ask for more – And that’s what I experienced A LOT in the past few months.
We must understand that networking isn’t just about “knowing the right person” to get your way. It is about establishing a relationship.
LinkedIn has become a networking hovel. People have to understand that accepting a connection does not instantly mean I know you or I trust you.
And meeting up to discuss “business partnership” or buying insurance is the last thing I want to do with someone I don’t even know yet.
That goes for face-to-face networking too. You do not instantly ask someone for their time without forming a relationship. Or worse, not even stating the objective clearly.
Time is precious. Meeting up isn’t something that is all-beneficial. The cost of meeting up is time. And people are simply not willing to give up their precious time to a stranger.
We don’t even have the time to meet our friends as frequently as we like to. What makes you think they want to meet a stranger?
I wish that this style of networking will change. Business or not, we are all humans. We seek social connections and we are sentimental.
People who don’t understand that will never form a meaningful relationship through networking.