Are you constantly making contacts yet never following up? Do you search on LinkedIn, connect with people, and never talk to them again? Do you add people to your Facebook and don’t even know them without plans to ever reach out? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to seriously look into questioning if you’re a “false networker.”
What is this “false networker” that I just described? I would describe a “false networker” as someone who only seeks to keep points on the score board, keep their cell phone filled with numbers, and not actually creating lasting friendship via networking. False networking is the new scheme of the Internet world along with networking events, and I will take no parts of such a move.
What happened to that personal touch that the “old school” taught? It seems at times that we don’t truly sale ourselves nor understand what it is to be a true business woman or man. Today, you can walk into some stores and no one speaks to you. No, “Good morning, how are you?” Just take your money and run type of attitudes. I prefer to pay more for someone to help me, and create a personal connection then to go for the “cheap price without service.” I will spare you the list of stores on either side because the list would be long as we all have our experiences. Out of the list, it is sure to show that regardless the size of a company, you can still hold that personal touch, but must instill within your employees.
I write about loyalty, honesty, and being humble with compassion. When someone request to be my friend on Facebook, connect via LinkedIn, or follow me on Twitter…you better believe I am checking out their profile. The less they have up, the less likely I am to connect with someone. In addition, if I do not know you personally, I will send a message asking, “How you found out about me or what is your purpose for this connection? The “false networkers” never reply.
Why do I ask those questions? I guess I come from the “old school” of thought. I do not look into the numbers yet the quality of connections. Personally, I enjoy getting to know people because as I write in my book, “We all have a story to share which we can learn.” And to learn is what I want; it makes me the person I am today. We as consumers have to stop buying from companies which sell services yet do not have customer service, it makes no sense. One of the guest and I at a networking event spoke on this very topic, it is plain marketing; getting to know your customer ensures you know what to sell them. Bring home to your employees that the bottom line although an essential element, it is not the only driving motivator.
So, let’s answer the question why do people involve themselves in “false networking” it is simple, to appear popular. The old high school mentality which says, Popularity = Happiness, whatever I say Quality = Satisfaction to customers any day of the week.
With the world economy in the presence stance, the pressure is on. Many people think that with popularity they will gain the call from an employer. I say, that is a slippery slope my friend which is not the true path to success. Popularity does not solve the “Are you truly qualified?” question yet might raise more. Be careful to not fall into “false networking” as I suggest.
Have I fallen into the trap of “false networking” sure, I think we all have been a victim. Now, I refuse to add people to my LinkedIn account which I can tell are “false networkers” only to hold a number on my connections. It seems LinkedIn is filled with networking groups, mostly good, yet others which only assist in gaining the 500+ connections to make their profile look spectacular. “WOW, Look at her Facebook page, she has over 1,000 friends” yet the real question is, “Do all those friends truly support you?” I wrote prior, support is truly priceless. There are talkers and doers. I personally do a little talking yet a lot of doing. All my doing doesn’t pay off but as my grandmother use to tell me, “Nothing beats a failure but a try.” You will never know if you do not try. I say, “You’re guaranteed to get nothing if you do nothing.” What category do you fall into?
I’ve found that “false networking” gets you and the people you add nowhere fast. The lesson here is to ensure you engage yourself in “real or true networking.” Truly sad we have to define the difference but essential we understand. I guess I will put on my LinkedIn and other pages, “Real/True Networker” or RTN for short.
If you want someone who truly means, “If there is anything I can do to help, reach out?” Then add me to your Facebook, LinkedIn, or follow me on Twitter. I mean what I say, and say what I mean. I must admit, I tend to get a bit busy yet follow up with every email personally in due time, be patient as it takes time to get through them all.
Now, let’s connect and truly network.
Please post any of your experiences or thoughts in the comments section. We would love to hear your take.
About the author: The Dieng Group, she aids organizations and individuals with webinars and workshops, strategic strategy sessions that avail high level business consultations, research, drafting, and negotiations. Regardless of your business size or needs, she can aid with cost effective measures in most disciplines that off set her fees, therefore enabling cost saving tactics.