At a recent networking meeting the discussion turned to why people were networking. The consensus was that it was about business, but it was important to build relationships first.
One of the members said for him it was social first, learning second and then business. He drew this picture to demonstrate.
He explained it further by saying, "firstly it's social as it can be lonely working in a small business so it's great to meet other relevant professionals. Secondly it is important to learn new things from your peers. Then as you get to know, like and trust the others a natural consequence is business."
It reminded me of a quote from someone at a networking seminar a couple of years ago when I asked what networking was to him and he said, "Networking is about making friends you can do Business with".
The key point is that it is the relationship first and business follows.
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