A survey conducted by The Icehouse shows that an overwhelming number of New Zealand businesspeople see networking as a key part of their professional development and business success. However, the same people agree that they can improve their networking skills.
A total of 92% of businesspeople identified networking as key to the business success and 96% said there was room for improvement as far as their networking skills were concerned, according to the results of the survey that got over 140 responses.
“The results show 40% of us primarily network to generate lead opportunities, 24% are looking for new suppliers or contacts to assist them and 9% are trying to progress their career,” says Andy Hamilton, CEO of The Icehouse. “The majority of us value connecting with someone who is looking for mutual benefit from the new relationship,” he adds. “This tells us that we aren’t just networking for the sake of making new friends. We are doing it for a reason; to help our business, drive sales or perhaps climb the career ladder.”
According to the survey results, eight out of ten people still prefer to network in person rather than online. However, two thirds of respondents say social media has made networking easier so the percentage is bound to change.
“Networking has traditionally been coined as a ‘sleazy’ term, but we are seeing Kiwi business owners embracing the concept and understanding the value it can bring to them personally and professionally,” adds Hamilton.
The Icehouse is expecting to enable 1000 businesses of international quality to be created in New Zealand by 2020. Hamilton says networking is essential to enable that. “By looking at ways we can expand our networking capabilities means we can allow easier flow of information in the business eco-system to help Kiwi organisations and our economy grow.”