5 Top tips to make the most of networking

by Editorial Team
6 minutes read

Peter Chibayamombe

One of the main benefits of participating in business events such as conferences, confexes, corporate games of golf, meetings and workshops among others is the opportunity to network with other people in one’s industry or sector. In fact, realising the importance of networking, most business events organisers now include a business opportunities and networking slot on their programmes.

Networking opportunities assist attendees to widen their circles of business connections. This is the reason why someone said that one’s net worth is determined by their network. However, one’s network can only contribute to their net worth if they know how to network and leverage their network connections to realise business. Here are a few tips on how to do this.

Building Relationships

The most important takeaway when I look at my first book project in retrospect can be summarised in one word – relationships. The book failed to reach its potential because I just didn’t have the right relationships at that time. No matter how good you craft your art, your success is determined largely by the people within your network. These are the people who help push your work in the marketplace. In business, it is these people who spread the word about your services or products.

The Power of Synergy

In management there is a principle called creative co-operation or Synergy where “1+1=3 or more”. This means that the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker, Stephen Covey uses and demonstrates this concept in his book, The seven habits of highly effective people. He says, “If you plant two plants close together, the roots commingle and improve the quality of the soil so that both plants will grow better than if they were separated.”

There is so much that you can achieve alone as an author, professional or businessperson. But you can achieve much more if you create synergies with people within your network. Every person you know has strengths that you can leverage for your own advantage. Someone within your network has keys to your next level of success. Every person you know knows someone who knows someone who is influential.


Know the value of people around you

I once heard someone say that you are only seven people away from meeting the President of America. I used to doubt it but I now believe that it’s true after a close friend of mine introduced me to Brian Sandoval in 2018. Sandoval is a former Governor of the State of Nevada in USA. Being a Republican and a former chairperson for all Governors in the USA, Brian is a close ally of guess who? : Donald Trump. I don’t, by any means, intend to brag but I am being as practical as best as I can. Know the value of people around you. You never know which door they can open for you.

The Power in Relationships

My biggest drawback has been my inability to create and nurture valuable relationships. In 2013, I was part of a workshop called One Young World. Thousands of young leaders from across the globe attend this prestigious workshop. I had an opportunity to have breakfast during a side meeting organised by Barclays PLC for all the 20 delegates it had sponsored to attend the workshop that year.

I sat on the same table with Anthony Jerkins (Former Barclays Bank PLC Group CEO), Maria Ramos (ABSA CEO), Paul Poleman (Unilever CEO) and Ariana Huffington (Huffington Post founder). The then Secretary General of the United Nations, the late Kofi Anan and Founder and Chairman of Virgin Airlines, Richard Branson) also attended this breakfast meeting. This was a lifetime opportunity that could have changed my whole life.

However, I failed to utilise that opportunity. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to start a conversation with an influential person at that time. I didn’t know how to present myself. I was just lost. Jerkins even asked me about my book. He asked that I email a copy to his wife Amanda and stay in touch with him. I just didn’t. I forgot to ask for her business card.

Create meaningful relationships

Your success is largely dependent on the quality of the people around you. This applies to almost every facet of life. To be the best at what you do, you need to surround yourself with people who inspire you, who motivate you, and who challenge you. If you surround yourself with ‘yes’ people, they will follow you to the grave without even challenging your decisions.

How many of your close allies have read your book or given you feedback on your company’s products and services? How many have given you feedback? How many have critiqued your work? How many have advertised your business on their social media pages? How many have spoken about your business to other people? How much value do your friends and business associate bring to you?

Of all the contacts on your phone, how many can connect you to life-changing opportunities? You need people who ask you difficult questions and provide honest feedback. You can only create such relationships and meet such people through networking. Networking is the practice of intentionally seeking out these people. Your personal network is your resource and your weapon to success.


Let’s put everything into perspective here. How many new contacts have you established through your professional association membership? Be honest. Most of us just know two or so colleagues. We don’t make an effort to interact with each other. But the worst part is that it works to our disadvantage as authors. We limit ourselves through our inability to network and create meaningful relationships.

Imagine, how many people you can reach out to through someone on say your Whatsapp group. The key to your next level of success is in your existing groups or associations but unfortunately, you are not reaching out. I am challenging all of us to start networking and creating relationships.


  • Peter Chibayamombe is a Christian author who published his first book, How to unlock the blessing of God in 2010. He has also written other books namely, Contending for the Faith, Born of God, Jesus Christ: the author of our salvation and Women in Leadership. He is working on the publication of these four books. Peter does music and he has three albums under his belt.

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