Though most of the people who listen to this podcast don’t resist networking, it’s important to understand why others might resist it, in spite of the fact that other forms of marketing and advertising can be cost-prohibitive. Dr. Misner asked BNI members why they thought people resisted the benefits of networking and got more than 100 replies. There were four main categories of response:
- Lack of confidence/shyness.
- Lack of time/need to give up another activity.
- Want immediate results/impatient.
- Don’t want to be sold to/don’t want to sell.
Do you know of other reasons to resist networking? Post them in the comments.
Brought to you by Networking Now.
Complete Transcript of BNI Podcast Episode 311 –
Hello everyone and welcome back to The Official BNI Podcast brought to you by NetworkingNow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. I am Priscilla Rice, and I am coming to you from Live Oak Recording Studio, in Berkeley, CA. I am joined on the phone today by the Founder and Chairman of BNI, Dr. Ivan Misner. Hello Ivan. How are you? And where are you this week?
Hi Priscilla, this week I am in Virginia, meeting with some BNI members and the Referral Institute Organization, doing some presentations.
That sounds nice.
It is. I love meeting BNI members and Referral Institute students and my travels give me the opportunity to meet quite a few, its exciting.
Great. What are you going to share with us?
Today I’m going to be talking about why people resist networking. In some ways I’m singing to the choir because most of the people that listen to this podcast don’t resist networking. But I think its important for members to understand why others might be resistant to it. I still see a lot of people, for one reason or another, continue to resist networking or have issues with it and I begin to wonder why so many business owners were still not sold on the power of business networking on a way to grow their business, given that working in advertising can be cost prohibitive. Networking provides a great return at a much smaller monetary investment. So I decided to turn to my own network, BNI, and ask BNI members why they thought other people resisted networking so much? I did that on Facebook and Twitter, and wow! If you were one of the members that responded, and are listening to this podcast, thank you! I got over 100 responses.
It was great! It was really insightful and it helped me to be able to come up with the content for this podcast and for an article. Generally, there seem to be four major themes why members felt the business owners resist the benefits of networking. The first one is that someone is not confident. This was probably the most popular reason that people said they resist networking.
There were quite a few different ways that lack of confidence was described as keeping people from networking. For some, the thought of interacting with strangers was just paralyzing. While for others, a mix of low confidence, shyness, an underestimation of what they can contribute were cited as reasons to avoid networking.
Giving into these fears, I believe, is just plain bad for business. A successful entrepreneur is not blocked by fear; in fact, most people find that once they venture out to meet people in a networking setting, their not only building their business, they are actually have a good time. Beats the heck out of cold calling. Many people said that once you get out there and do it, its not so bad.
The second thing was you’re too busy. People just say they’re too busy. Not having time to network was one of the excuses that a lot of people gave for why they thought people didn’t engage in business networking. When I suggest that they get involved in networking a lot of people think they have to give up something else to do that and that causes them stress on top of their other obligations or they simply believe they don’t have the time.
But using the “too busy” comment as an excuse means that they are really not clear on what they want to gain by directing time towards networking. Once they learn that breaking out of the routine can be an enriching experience. That they can find ways to make it work within their schedule. That was second one, “just too busy”.
Third was they were impatient for results. That, I think, is probably particularly true with people who work for a larger company- even if they are a sales person for the larger company, because they’re under pressure to get immediate results. And networking doesn’t always get immediate results. Its important that people understand that it takes followup, and it takes time. Being impatient, particularly if you’ve got someone you’re working with is impatient for results, makes people desperate and desperation is not referable.
We live in such a rushed society, these days, expecting or even demanding immediate results for our efforts, people need to understand that networking is not a get rich quick scheme. I often have said that a successful networking effort is much more like farming than hunting. We have to cultivate these good relationships and they pay us back over the long term. That was the third one, “impatient”.
And the fourth one that came up, a lot, is some people think of networking as selling. People often resist networking because they are frightened about being sold to or they don’t want to pitch their product to a room full of people. What they don’t realize is that networking is not face to face cold calling. Although, some people practice it that way, I would argue that’s not the way to do it. Its not an opportunity to get face to face and cold call people.
Networking isn’t something you do to someone. Its something you do with them. Its a conversation and it involves more listening. If both parties keep that in mind, they will be genuinely interested in the other person as they get to know each other. This interest leads to comfort and that comfort leads to opportunities which provide referrals. I got to say, those are the four big themes that I saw. Again, thank you to all the BNI members who commented because there was just a ton of great feedback and content that I got from so many of you to produce this podcast today.
Great! Well I was thinking about what you just said and it seems like one of the resistances might be that a lot of networking takes place after the work day. So people have to go out, leave their warm and comfortable homes, and go socialize at mixers or whatever. And that might be something that people resist.
You know, in networking, certainly in BNI, often times its before the workday. Sometimes its in the evening. I understand that but you don’t have to do it five days a week.
When I was out drumming up business for my consulting business, I easily did one meeting a week, in the evening, morning meetings and sometimes lunch meetings and I spread it around a little bit. As the listeners may recall in the gender book that I wrote we found that the average person spends about six and a half hours a week with networking and the people that are doing really well spend about eight hours. So going to a handful of meeting a week is part and parcel if you are doing the right things of spending the appropriate amount of time in your networking efforts.
That’s what I have got for today. Here is what I would like you to do if your listening to this podcast. Post a message here on BNIpodcast.com telling me what other reasons you believe there are for people to resist networking and tell me if you agree or disagree with these four. Have you seen people that do the things I’m talking about? Are there other things that you think are as important? So share with us here on the podcast. I want remind everyone, I read every comment that gets put on BNI podcast. So, you put it up there, I promise you I’ll see it.
That’s great. Okay. Well, thank you, Dr. Misner.
I think that is it for this week. I would like to remind the listeners that this podcast has been brought to you by networkingnow.com, which is the leading site on the net for networking downloadables. Thank you for listening. This is Priscilla Rice, and we hope you will join us next week for another exciting episode of The Official BNI Podcast.