What’s the Difference?
As the name of this course indicates, we are here to focus on networking, not to be confused with business development. All too often, people use business development and networking interchangeably. Let’s straighten things out:
As a reminder, networking is the act of consistently establishing, building, and maintaining mutual trust and respect with your professional peers.
On the other hand, business development is much more focused on leveraging your network to generate growth within your business by bringing in revenue or other opportunities. This is the “sales” piece that people so often associate with networking.
The Intersection of Networking & Business Development
The act of consistently working to establish, build, and maintain mutual trust and respect with your professional peers creates the foundation of a strong professional network. Once you have this strong professional network of people who trust you and respect you, only then will you be able to consistently uncover new business development opportunities. This is how networking and business development tie together. While they are fundamentally different, business development is entirely dependent on first building a strong network. Said differently, networking is a prerequisite to business development.
It is important to establish that we are focusing solely on the relationship-building aspects of networking for this course and all networking-related courses and not on business development. However, business development is an incredibly important topic that we will discuss in its own set of courses.
Networking and business development are fundamentally different. Take some pressure off of yourself and realize that you do not need to worry about selling anything when you’re networking. Simply focus on building relationships with other people.