Networking is a Learned Skill

Ok, really. How tough can networking be? It involves
TALKING to people and I talk to people every single day. Why
do I constantly need to learn how to network? Why do I need
to constantly develop networking skills? Why is it
recommended that I participate in GROUPS that only have a
focus on networking? It just can’t be that tough.

Networking is a LEARNED skill. It involves developing strong
relationship-building techniques. These are taught. Just like
mathematical skills and verbal skills. It is a common
misconception that you should “know” how to network. After
all, it’s believed, networking is not brain surgery or rocket

But that IS a misconception. Without constant exposure to new
relationship-building ideas, without exposure to different
people, and different communication styles, without training
in the field of networking, a business professional would
suffer from some serious business development challenges.
These challenges included but are not limited to:

1. A lack of ability to get past “gate keepers”. A very common
way to get past gate-keepers is through a referral from
someone the gate keeper knows and respects. Without strong
networking skills, a business professional will be unable to
generate such referrals.

2. Once past them, a challenge with getting an appointment
with a decision-maker. Here, without strong listening skills
and precise presentation techniques, the busy decision-maker
finds it easy to end a conversation before it’s started.

3. Once an appointment is made, difficulty communicating
features and benefits to your prospect. People relate to
different styles of communication in different ways. Usually,
someone likes to be related to in the same manner that they
relate to others. To use a different style can not only cause
a delay in the presentation process, but can actually lead to
the termination of an otherwise mutually-beneficial business
relationship just because the STYLE was offensive to the

4. Even if all the above can be handled successfully, a
difficulty in closing the sale. In an ideal networking
relationship, both parties are concerned with learning about
each other so they can best help each other. This skill makes
closing a sale easier, since you have learned how to best help
your prospect and your prospect has learned how you can best
help them. The close is much easier then.

There appears to be no formal courses someone can take on
Networking. (Although I personally would LOVE to change
THAT!)The closest thing to a networking course is
participation in networking groups. Here, a group of like-
minded individuals meet with common goals in mind-the over-
all goal being increased business revenue for all participants.

Any readers interested in furthering THEIR Networking
education may want to read a series of articles on the topic
(including articles on Networking groups)that I have
available by autoresponder. For a list of the titles of these
articles, send a blank email to:

mail to:

An autoresponder will return a list of the available files
WITH descriptions so you can continue YOUR networking
education by choosing the articles that are of interest to

Copyright c 2004 Nancy Roebke