50 Business Challenges: No. 12 Netweaving

What, you ask, is the difference between networking and netweaving?

There are those who go to their first business networking event, speak to 6 people, get no orders – and vow never to waste their time again. Netweaving (there is an American organisation of that name) starts from the other end with trying to help the people you meet. So somebody just setting up in business may need some business cards. You introduce them to a printer that you know. You get nothing immediate from the transaction.

Except that you now have both a happy business owner and a happy printer, at a cost to you of nothing. And your credibility as a person to do business with is enhanced. They may or may not return the favour, but at least you are in the right mind set to be an effective networker.

Are there still lawyers out there who are not out mixing with business people? Being known is vital, particularly being known for the right things. Technical legal ability is important, but clients can only judge you on how you treat them and others. Even 40 years ago, when partners had a reputation for spending every afternoon on the golf course, this was all about making connections.

Go, meet, greet – and thrive.

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