The key to your networking success is reciprocation. As in any relationship, positive results and new opportunities are unlikely to unfold if either party feels there is a lack of reciprocation. A mutually beneficial relationship requires a conscious effort to ensure a give and take balance.
It is not uncommon that we see the demise of many businesses or personal relationships resulting from an imbalance in reciprocation whether it is in fact a reality or simply a feeling, the end result can be disastrous. A company vs. the employee union, a business vs. a customer, a wife vs. a husband, or a professional vs. a colleague, all can result in damaged relationships and wounded reputations.
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are certainly recognized for their wealth but their success is also attributable to their philanthropy. Generosity and simple reciprocation generates positive word of mouth resulting in highly regarded reputations. Consider the brand or image generated by McDonald’s and McDonald House, Oprah, Richard Branson and West Jet’s winning corporate culture. Although all are renowned for various reasons, they are also well recognized and respected for giving back.
Have you acknowledged the person who provided you with the lead that resulted in your last job interview? When was the last time you composed a testimonial for a supplier, colleague or friend? Did you follow up with the return call or email as promised? Have you reviewed and accepted your LinkedIn invitations or Facebook friend invitations? Do you send out thank you notes?
Successful networking is, helping those who help you!