Why is Networking So Difficult?

9 02 2011

Why is networking so difficult?  Whether we are job searching or trying to develop new business, we inherently know that we should be networking.  By now, we know that networking is relationship building.  And, we know that we shouldn’t be mixing up our relationship building with selling.  Right?

First reason networking is so difficult – it seem counter-intuitive.  If I’m looking for a job, then shouldn’t I tell everyone I know so that they can help me?  If I’m trying to develop more business, then shouldn’t I tell everyone I know about my wonderful products and services?

No and Yes!  I’ve written prior about the differences between networking and selling, so I won’t repeat myself here.  Here’s the link to a previous post – “What is the Difference between Networking and Selling?”

As people get to know you, they will become more familiar with your products/services as well.

So, why else is networking so difficult?  Here are some thoughts:

  • We’re not sure how to start, what to say or what to ask
  • We’re uncomfortable, especially with people we don’t know
  • We fear rejection
  • Others are really busy
  • Others don’t respond
  • Others don’t seem to care
  • Others don’t understand
  • We lack the patience for relationships to develop
  • We lack the persistence to keep trying
  • We focus on the quantity of relationships and not quality
  • We don’t understand how to use these new social media tools
  • We don’t have the time
  • We don’t really see the point

And, there must be many more…  Please share your comments so we can all learn from each other.  Thanks in advance!




3 responses

9 02 2011
David Updegraff

We may feel as though we are intruding on the other person’s time and space.

10 02 2011
Jen Turi

I always think of the first step when networking is to provide value. Give rather than get. It must be very difficult when unemployed to figure out how to provide value and that can make it really hard. It is very uncomfortable to try to begin a relationship of any kind when you feel you have nothing to offer.

10 02 2011

It takes time and persistence to go through the process of understanding own brand and interests and then reaching out to others in a valuable manner. It makes it even tougher when unemployed – how to do this without sounding desperate.

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