Salli Setta, the president of Red Lobster, spoke to Business Insider about the use of networking for businesses. Setta shares what she believes is the biggest mistake people make with networking.
Most people believe networking is just used to advance a career. These same people think networking is boring and pointless.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Setta has found a new way to look at networking that can help people use it more effectively for their personal and professional growth.
“It’s about trying to open up your eyes to the possibilities of what’s around you.”
It’s not about growing your business. It’s about growing you. When you network with people, you will gain knowledge from them. You will learn how to do things differently and better than you were doing before, and then you can use that to grow your business. What’s important to focus on is that you are first using networking to improve yourself and then it’s you that is growing your business.
This is what makes networking fun. When you’re sharing information with people, you are working with them. They are asking you questions and they are asking you questions. It’s just like sitting down with some friends sharing your experiences and opening yourself up to them while they open up to you. The difference is that you’re doing this in a professional capacity.
Not only is this way of networking fun, but it takes away the awkwardness of it. When you are networking with people who don’t know as much as you do about your work and you don’t know about theirs, you are all on an even playing field. You don’t have to feel intimidated or feel as though you have to impress anyone. You know what you know and they know what they know, and everyone wants to learn.
How to Use Setta’s Advice
Jump back into networking with a new frame of mind. Meet people to learn about them, and they will likely want to learn from you. You can start right away by setting up a Huddle on HuddleDo. Just choose a few people from your local area and when three people have accepted, you’ll be ready for a Huddle at the location you’ve indicated. All you have to do is show up and get ready to chat.
With Setta’s way of networking, there is no pressure. You do not have to sell your business, services, or products. You’re just there to soak up some knowledge that you can then use to benefit your business. If a sale or partnership comes out of it, then that’s just another bonus.