Facebook gave us endless ‘friends,’ although most Facebook friends are fake.
So in the evolution of social media, has networking turned into “fake-friending”? Or has it always been that way — “hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name?”
It is the networking game, and it’s understood that the relationships are first about business. But if you want to do better than the necessary evil, stop networking and start giving people something more.
Writing for Forbes Legal Council, attorney Linda R. Evers says she developed a book of business without networking. She heads the communications and public utility group at Stevens & Lee.
“Networking is not required to be a rainmaker,” she said. “In fact, networking might hinder your results.”
Instead, she says, be yourself by making authentic connections with people. When at a business function, have meaningful conversations with a few people rather than litter the room with business cards.
She said it’s about making real connections. And if people ask for legal advice, give them a response — for free.
Robyn Hagan Cain, a recovering lawyer turned blogger, said networking doesn’t have to be strained. If you are not a natural friend-maker, fake it until you make it.
That means focusing on one-on-one conversations, making eye contact, and especially being a good listener. If you are an introvert, research suggests, you have superior listening skills.
“So you don’t like talking about yourself. Or talking to strangers at all,” she writes. “Luckily, many people like nothing more than to talk about themselves.”
Those might be the fake friends. Just saying …