I was in one of my networking meetings this week and another fellow networker spoke about value. He asked are you a faucet or drain? That is an interesting way to look at networking. It boils down to giving or taking. A good networker always gives and looks for ways to help others. A bad networker is always looking for their next sale.
If you are considered a drain by your network connections, you are a taker. A drain will suck the life out of a room. They ooze negativity, desperation and greed. No matter how many baths they take, the smell of the drain is still there. They always complain they don’t get enough referrals. They are usually absent of networking events, show up late and leave early. Their network is there for them not the proper way of them being there for their network. I find these are the folks that will tell strangers that networking doesn’t work or it is a waste of time.
If you are considered a faucet by your network connections, you are a giver. When you meet new business people or sales people you ask questions and listen to their answers of how to help them. You help find new connections for your group. You show up early and leave late. You help no matter what is needed with your network. Fellow networkers are glad to see you because you are a faucet in the group. Faucets are positive, helpful and giving. You will never hear a faucet complain about not getting enough referrals but are one of the biggest givers that doesn’t keep score. There is a philosophy of reciprocation that if I help you grow your business, at some point, you will feel obligated to help me grow mine. Truth is most faucets receive the most and best referrals in a given networking group.
“One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action.”—Lewis Howes
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Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 2, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 30 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.