I remember when I first started my own business and began attending networking events. I was so overwhelmed by the number of people who would tell me that I needed what they had for sale in spite of the fact that they hadn’t taken the time to find out anything about me and what my needs were. On occasion, I would meet someone who would ask me what I did, tell me about their company and talk about a way we could work together. They are the people who I still work with today after several years because we have a relationship.
The same problem occurs with on-line networking. Some people see it as another place to advertise their business. Too often, people use social networking groups to promote their business when they should be building relationships. It’s like any networking group. If people are genuinely interested in helping each other succeed, everyone wins. However, if everyone is just selling at each other, the group won’t last and no one will benefit.
Remember, no matter how you network, be it on-line or in-person, the important thing to remember is that people want to work with and buy from someone they trust and with whom they have a relationship. Approach it any other way and although you might get the initial sale, the chances of retaining the customer are poor.