You may be a CEO who says, “I don’t have time to go to events and network.” Other CEOs may say, “What’s the real value to me to make time and effort to do so?”
Before we answer these questions, let’s first establish that there is a big difference between making connections versus networking.
“A connection is a relationship that occurs as a result of successful networking, and its primary goal”
The definition of networking is interacting with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career. Networking is an activity. It is an activity that can be acted upon with great or little success.
The definition of a connection, however, is a relationship in which a person, thing or idea is linked or associated with something else. A connection is a relationship that occurs as a result of successful networking, and its primary goal.
Here are the top reasons why building connections is so important:
- New connections can lead to new business
If you are a CEO who also acts as a hunter for your firm, or wants to impact the bottom line, making new connections can mean new prospects and ultimately new clients. Many individuals want to do business with the CEO or owner of the company because it brings a sense of being an “insider” or “VIP” to being a customer of your firm.
- New connections can result in new referrals
Connections look out for each other and make appropriate introductions to each other because they believe in each other and like to help one another.
- New connections open doors for you
They also give you advantages you might otherwise not have access to. Imagine being connected with the owner of the top new restaurant in town with a several month wait list, and you want to celebrate your spouse’s birthday there the following week? Calling the owner and getting a table is an example of a connection paying dividends.
- New connections may advise you on best practices
They also might give you tips for running your company more effectively, managing your employees, or making financial decisions. These are especially true if they are peer CEOs or advisors to CEOs.
- New connections may become strategic partners, investors, and acquisition or merger candidates
The vast majority of new partnerships, capital infusion and merger candidates come from connections and referrals. Having a vast network only improves your options and access.
- New connections introduce you to new vendors, key advisors and business specialists to help your company
Have you wondered whether you have outgrown your bank relationship? Considering whether outsourcing your HR may make sense for your company? Trusted connections can not only share there experience about what you have yet to do, but also introduce you to new connections to help you evaluate and execute.
- New connections can lead to lasting friendships and business alliances
What’s the value of a trusted friend? Trusted adviser ?