Business Networking That Works . . . It’s Called Quid Pro Quo
Have you ever handed out your business card at a business mixer or other business related function and initiated a successful business relationship after the exchange of cards? If the answer is yes you are also likely to win the lottery.
Business networking has been described as the process of developing and growing informal relations for the purpose of gaining business opportunities or employment. As a successful entrepreneur who has started several companies from scratch—without knowing anyone in the industry—I can tell you firsthand that there is only one strategy that works.
I call it quid pro quo while other authors have described it as “the art of reciprocity.”(Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston, How Remarkable Women Lead, New York: Crown Business, 2005). Regardless of how you describe it the concept is the same—first identify the business person’s hot button and then offer something of value to complement that target. The “quid” can be sending a link to an important article or sharing research that you have done on a subject that you know this businessperson would find useful, an outreach to help an associate solve a problem, facilitating an introduction that helps someone else, or even an offer to be a good listener.
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