Get in Communication: Active vs. Passive Networking

Get in Communication: Active vs. Passive Networking

Part of what I do now is document my activities, conduct them like boyhood science experiments hoping for a magical explosion.

I’m convinced that the magic of life can be found in communication with other people. Part of my daily plan is to spend more time reaching out to people. Everyone agrees that networking is important but most people, myself included, rely on passive networking.

Your passive network is the group of acquaintances that you are in contact with every day at your job. There’s nothing wrong with them, but I’ve found, almost like talking to your uncle or a friend, there’s not a lot to be gained from a business conversation.

The context that you meet people is the stage that guides future communication patterns.

At your job, your peers are all there with a job to do. It’s less likely that you’ll talk about your side-hustle, or the part-time Facebook advertiser that you want to hire. Everyone is busy focusing on what they need to do to get their job done.

Active networking, on the other hand, is where you’ll meet the most open-minded people willing to help your cause. When you reach out to a new contact, the common ground is that you both need help to move forward. In networking, the goal is to create win/win scenarios and not only focus on what you want out of the relationship.

Most people suck at active networking. Why? Because they don't do it enough!

I have a phone call today that I set up. It’s a 100% active networking call. I don’t know what to expect, but it’s understood that we both have business goals that we want to achieve. The stage is different than what you find from your passive network.

The group of people in your passive network are there because it’s their job. They are less likely to help you outside of work. It’s almost like your relationships can only exist in the context of the job. Go home and forget about these people that I see all day. This isn’t always true but it’s been my experience most of the time.

It’s ironic that talking to complete strangers about what you do can be more lucrative than talking to the people you already know.

Active networking requires you to get out of your comfort zone, square off with your lack of confidence, and reveal your true intentions to people. I admit, it’s more difficult. Through everything I’ve learned about business, and seeing successful people land deals, active networking is where the magic is.

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Leveraging connections is the key to building a business. I’ve had success with this in the past, but not on a large scale.

Now I’ve going all in as a entrepreneur. Making new connections is the predominate activity. That’s active networking.

Moving forward, I’m spending the majority of my time:

  • Cold calling

  • Setting up meetings

  • Going to events

  • Speaking with people wherever I go (coffee shops, bookstores, sandwich shops)

In short, I’m not good enough to launch an online sales funnel that’s going to make me 20K a week (at least not yet), but I can find the person who can with active networking.

Creating content and managing my online presence will take a backseat. All gears ahead for generating sales and leads the old fashion way—pounding the pavement and going directly to potential customers. For me, I’m more skilled at face-to-face persuasion. That’s what I’m relying on to build this new venture one customer at a time.

So strike up new communication with strangers outside of your work environment. They will be receptive and take more interested in what you do. Active networking is the perfect opportunity to see how you can help the other person as well as how they can help you.  

Good luck with your active networking!