Networking is beyond having a pipeline to communicate with someone. It is more than stringing together some photos and factoid information about their home-town or where they went to school. It is about building relationships and sharing. All parties contribute something of value in order to exchange for what they need or desire.
I think bees do this better than anything else!
To an outsider; bees simply bounce from one flower to another searching for sweet nectar to bring back to the hive. When we look a bit deeper into what happens; there is an equal exchange going on. The bees don’t merely rob the flower of its nectar. They come by it quite fairly. In exchange; the bees carry pollen from one flower to another and are responsible for cross-pollination – it might even be said that the flowers evolved to produce nectar in order to attract something that will help them transfer pollen.
Though bees do have a limit to the distance they fly each day; they don’t have established trade routes, protected territories, or catchy sales pitches. They approach each flowering plant and make a simple exchange of goods and information.
Networking and sales truly is about such an equal exchange. Perhaps with this model of business cross-pollination; we will better understand the economic impact of individual activities.
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