You have heard, “it’s all about who you know” many times. In my experience, this is absolutely true. We develop many connections throughout our lives that we see as either insignificant or valuable. What if I told you that every relationship we have carries the potential for success? I submit to you that the people we encounter are stepping stones and bridges to the next season of our life. They can be the next growth opportunity, the next helping hand needed, and even the next business meeting we have. People are valuable, and we can gain so much from our connection with them.
We have all had a bad life experience with someone we would describe as unpleasant. What did you, or can you, gain from that relationship? You gained character, perspective, and how not to treat people. If you go into life with the mindset that each person you meet today is valuable and you can glean something from them, you will have become a better person at the end of the day.
It’s important for your health
Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Surgeon General of the United States, recently wrote: “Loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day”.
- Leads to a 50% increased chance of longevity.
- Strengthens your immune system (research by Steve Cole shows that genes impacted by loneliness also code for immune function and inflammation).
- Helps you recover from disease faster.
- May even lengthen your life!
People who feel more connected to others have lower levels of anxiety and depression. Moreover, studies show they also have higher self-esteem, greater empathy for others, are more trusting and cooperative, and, consequently, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them. In other words, social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional, and physical well-being.
In other words, it is better to eat twinkies with friends than broccoli alone.
Networking or connecting is good for business.
Networking is an essential aspect of business and building a career. However, many professionals are still skeptical or reluctant to network, even after knowing how crucial networking is to success.
There are far too many benefits of networking to ignore it completely, and the data proves just that. Networking is the most successful way of finding a meaningful job and attaining career success. 80% of professionals find networking essential to their career success, almost 100% believe face-to-face meetings build stronger long-term relationships, and 41% want to network more often. Networking not only helps you start a career but also helps you succeed at it.
Oxford Economics published a thorough study on the importance of networking for business relationships. Business relationships can include clients and customers, partnerships, and vendors. Networking is one of the most important ways to find and keep customers. The close rate for meetings is 40%, meaning that in-person meetings end in a sale or deal almost half of the time. Furthermore, 75% of customers either require or prefer in-person meetings. You can lose clients simply by not meeting them in person. The refusal to network with customers can also affect business profits. Executives reveal that they’d lose 28% of their business if they stopped networking.
Trade shows are another great way to network for your business. About 5-20% of customers are found through trade shows. Professionals say that networking with vendors (48%) and prospects (43%) are the top reasons they attend trade shows.
This study clearly illustrates that building relationships through networking is the key to building trust and loyalty amongst all your business connections. Without networking, many businesses wouldn’t be successful.
As a young man in my 20’s, I saw the benefit of connections. I managed a bank branch and used my ever-developing networking and relationship building skills to gain new customers and build rapport with my employees and other bank associates. These relationships led to repeat business, sought-after positions at my branch, and favor among my peers to share my successes and motivate them to find their own successes. Shortly after that, these skills landed me this amazing career I am in now. With no college degree and no prior knowledge of this industry, I was hand-picked by the owners of My HR Professionals because I made an impression on them through networking events in the community. Now, eight years later, I am still with this company thriving in every area and using this very skill of networking and relationship building to grow our portfolio and create long-lasting clients.
Remember, every relationship we have carries the potential for success. Connections are essential and can be your next growth opportunity.
Written By: Kyle Morris, Business Development Manager
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