So, what is help networking? There was a saying when I was learning sales, always be closing. The way I was taught the ABC’s of selling didn’t make sense to me. When I was always closing, I wasn’t listening, learning, and helping clients solve problems. I made a lot of sales, because I was overbearing and pushy. But because I didn’t build relationships, my sales were usually one and done. Had I been taught ABH (Always be Helping) I would’ve been a more productive salesperson. Always be networking begins with always be helping. It’s help networking.

Last year I created a resume to apply for a volunteer board position representing a charity. It was my first resume—ever. I’ve been in the workforce for more than 50 years, and I’ve never had a resume. I’ve been a manager, district manager, director, and Vice President. I didn’t need a resume I was recruited and introduced. I’ve never been out of work longer than I wanted to be. I’m not bragging I’m making a point, because it wasn’t anything exceptional on my part. I  accomplished this by helping others, through help networking.

My work experience isn’t the only positive result I can track directly from help networking. I’ve been awarded multi-million dollar contracts that began with help networking. I’ve made lasting friendships, and I’ve had the privilege to help others. The best way to always be networking is to always be helping. Always be networking begins by always looking for opportunities to help.

  • Who can you connect?
  • Who can you introduce?
  • What advice can you share?
  • Who can you teach?
  • Where can you volunteer?
  • How can you donate?
  • Who needs you to listen?
  • What pitfalls can you help others avoid?

Is it Helping or Networking?

I recently shared the concept of help networking with an acquaintance and her first reaction was that it didn’t sound like networking. I explained it’s my networking foundation. It’s how I built a network. Most of the articles, posts, and books I’ve read about networking are centered on networking events—nothing wrong with that. I attend at least two every month, often more. But consider this, what makes the strongest network, strangers you meet at an event and exchanged cards with, or someone you’ve helped?

Over the years I’ve helped many folks and it has been my joy and pleasure, but I’ve been given more in return than I gave. You never know when someone you help will return the favor with an introduction, connection, or recommendation. Does this mean everyone you help will repay your kindness? Of course not, but enough will to more than make it worth the effort, and besides as I’ve said before—it feels pretty darn good to do. Who have you helped?

How Can I Help You?

I’d always considered myself an effective networker. I’m friendly, easy to talk to, and I’ve never met a stranger. However, none of that makes me a good networker – it makes me outgoing. If I wanted to be the most effective networker I could be, I needed a plan. That’s how my networking workbook, Help Networking started.

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.

Photo by Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka on Unsplash