Stuff we write about

Are you a Networking Animal?

For nearly a year now I have been regularly attending networking breakfasts and it has been really successful for my business.

One of the things I find most interesting about this is understanding the different types of people who attend these, and how they behave in this environment. You can see that some are themselves, and feel very comfortable ‘selling’ themselves. Others, who would usually be very capable, confident individuals, suddenly become a different person. Not able to hold look people in the eye, babbling through their 40 seconds, and generally unable to form a coherent sentence!

Why do we do this? What is it about a room full of others exactly like us, that can change us so much?

I have come across a lot of people and I have noticed that people tend to fall into one of 6 categories:

The Wolf
The wolf is there for one thing and one thing only. Food. They are lone creatures, do not understand the value of relationships, and come across as aggressive, and at the first sign of opportunity they have pounced on you! Unfortunately they don’t seem to understand that networking meetings are not Wolf territory! They don’t work well in settings which are open (multiple businesses in the same industry). When you get 2 wolves in the same room you can guarantee a fight!

The Tortoise
Predictably, these are the people who find it hard to come out of their shell at these events. No matter how confident they are in other situations, networking events make them want to hide in the corner, check their phone, and generally not get out there and network! Very often you will see them emerge after a few weeks, getting more and more confident, and evolving into a more ape-like creature (see below) as they watch what works and what doesn’t.

The Lioness
Protective till the end, the Lioness will not have a bad word said about ‘her’ industry / networking group / products etc. She does not understand that networking groups can provide a great arena for some healthy debates!

The Mother Hen
Just wants what is for the best of the group, which is great, but to the detriment of their own business. Too busy trying to get the group to be a success and forgets the basic principle of why they were there in the first place! Not only does networking cost quite a lot of money (depending on the groups you go to) but it can take a lot of time – travel, attending the meeting and following up. Make sure you know exactly why you are there, and measure your success. If it’s not working for your business, re-visit your marketing plan and strategy.

The Bear
Ok so this one is a bit of a stretch, but the bears seem to disappear for long periods (to hibernate?) and then randomly turn back up when they feel like it! Not only are they risking missing that opportunity that they are networking for, but they are not showing a commitment to the group as a whole. Yes, networking is about lead generation and building your business but it is also about providing a support community of like-minded people that you can grow to trust and discuss critical business issues with. If you can’t be bothered to turn up half the time, are you doing your fellow networkers a disservice?

And finally….

The Ape
These know the value of relationships and reciprocity. Give and you will receive is the motto here and it works! Building a strong network and consistently managing it makes them efficient networkers, and will ensure people talk (positively) about them long after the meeting ends. You can have many apes in the room together and they will look for the collaboration rather than the competitive situation first.

I know that in my networking I aspire to be as ‘ape-like’ as possible, but I am sure there are many more different types not mentioned here – please comment below to let me know what creatures you have met on your networking journey!

There are 3 comments .

administrative assistant

I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

promo codes

I am impressed to read such a powerful story about Networking. I will post a link on my coupon site to this blog post. I will be back to read more.

Dorine liver

Interesting banter I’ve bookmarked the page on Digg under “Networking”. Kudos!

Share Your Thoughts!

You must be logged in to post a comment.


    Sorry, no Tweets were found.


"We brought Lucy in to consult on Social Media marketing campaign planning for our biggest customer. Just one month after Lucy's Social Media Consultation we have already seen a 200% ROI from people who have come back to the website and purchased more products. I have no hesitation in recommending Lucy for all Social Media training and inbound marketing campaign management consulting." — Brad Bishop, Areatrade

Lucy came to our offices to help us understand and to get more out of LinkedIn. Lucy was very relaxed and informative and was very patient with my constant questions. We now have a much better understanding and are getting more from LinkedIn. As an added benefit Lucy is always online to help with the bits you forgot :). I definitely recommend Lucy's services." — Mark Reed, ATG Spectrum

“I wanted to use Linkedin to build my business profile and make new connections. I didn't know where to start and Lucy was recommended to me by a colleague. She has been extremely professional and what she doesn't know about Linkedin is not worth writing about. She has helped me fully understand how to use Linkedin in my business, without making it complicated. Highly recommended.” — Barry Marcus, Property Asset Finance

“Lucy is a one of a kind. A brilliant trainer. Fully prepared and exceptionally knowledgable in her field. My highest recommendation!” — Clifford White, 21st Century Media

“Lucy is brilliant at putting together all the components needed to make the various social media platforms work for businesses. She has helped me, clients and associates make WordPress blogs, LinkedIn profiles and Facebook work highly effectively as business promotion tools. She is fast, efficient, technically competent and able to assemble promotional messages that work. If you need practical help sorting out your business social media presence then hire Lucy now.” — Carl French, Replico

“Lucy came to our office to conduct a thorough, advanced LinkedIn workshop. All of us learned important things that we could use immediately, and we loved Lucy's 'can-do' attitude! She helped us fix some issues that had been bugging us for months. This lady knows her stuff and provides excellent, great value training. Highly recommended.” — Mindy Gibbins-Klein, The Book Midwife

"She came, she saw and she explained it in a way I understood!. Lucy understands this networked world and practically gets you to the point of being effective quickly. I have no problems recommending her services highly." — Don Phillips, Kavanagh

Copyright ©2012 Promote to Perform. All Rights Reserved.

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home1/lcooney/public_html/wp-content/plugins/kebo-twitter-feed/inc/get_tweets.php on line 254