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How Networking is Like Dating

networking is like datingLast week, I gave a presentation on strategic partnerships to an organization, and in the introduction, a reference was made to networking and dating. The comment was tongue-in-cheek, but there are similarities, when networking is done well, and I thought I would discuss them this week.

When you go out for your first date, you wonder if everything’s going to work out. Will you like each other? Will you have anything in common? Will you meet again?

Think about it. Kind of like your first networking meeting, right? You ask yourself very similar questions and have similar anxieties.

But where dating gets it right and networking generally gets it wrong is in the follow up. If you like someone on a first date, you want to see the person again, right?

Too often in networking, one meeting is all we get. We meet, we decide to refer each other, and that’s it. Maybe we’ll run into each other at a networking event, but most of the time,  a single one on one meeting is it.

And that’s wrong. One meeting isn’t enough to decide “I want to marry this person.” And it isn’t enough to create a foundation for a good networking relationship.

So what to do? Obviously, there aren’t enough hours in a week to meet with all our referral partners as often as we would meet a new significant other. But there are options.

1. Meet at networking events
2. Plan and implement co-branded marketing campaigns
3. Plan and schedule a presentation together
4. Schedule a dinner at your home for all your best referral partners.

Those are just a few ideas. Anyone want to share more great follow up ideas? Let’s learn from romance. Follow up is ongoing! Just like dating.

  • I like this one: Schedule a dinner for all your best referral partners.

    • Juli Monroe

      It’s a good one. Good social bonding makes referrals more likely