Networking is one of the hottest topics in the blogosphere right now, part of a general rush to figure out how business (sales in particular) can relate to the online world.
The most common problem with the rush to networking—online or offline—is the overwhelming desire to treat it as a quick-hit way to transactional selling. Call it the spammification of new sales ideas.
The truth is simple and evident: blogs and communities and twitter feeds et al have not rewritten the rules of relationships. They are simply another venue within which to play them out.
Just as email is getting overwhelmed by spam, there is a surfeit of those who collect Linked-In contacts; who enjoy applying the still-latent meaning in the word “friend” to 700 such people on Facebook; and generally those who wish to find a shortcut to relationships and to sales.
Alas, rushing too fast into relationships in cyberspace has exactly the same result as it does in the analog protein world: it achieves the opposite of what was intended. We resent being hustled, rushed, hit on. And we react.
Which is why it’s always refreshing to see a sensible treatment of the subject. RainToday.com has a new online guide, called “Face-to-Face Networking Guide: A Primer for Relationship Building.
And it is done right. It gives practical advice on how to network—online or offline—based on some sound, commonsensical ideas about how human beings develop relationships. This not a piece by Luddites—they know their technology in the new world, but more fundamentally they know how selling of complex services works.
Full disclosure: I’m a Contributing Editor of Raintoday.com, they publish some of my articles, and I’ve done a webinar with them. That’s all because I think they’re pretty darn good at what they do, which is to produce great content about how to sell professional services.
Give them a look-see.