Funny how two people could represent such opposite ends of the networking spectrum. I saw both of them in the same day. You can read about the first person I met here. He didn't want to waste time networking because he didn't "need friends" but just wanted to get paying customers. He's missing out on a world of information, help, and probably even a few clients.
The other person was the polar opposite. Hannah DeGroot is the Corporate Accounts Coordinator for Realty Concepts in Fresno. She's been working on networking for business for less than a year, but has jumped in with both feet, by joining local organizations and getting involved in social networking.
I first saw her name on LinkedIn, popping up regularly in the "People You May Know" column. Then I started seeing her in Plaxo's suggestions of people I might know. This went on for weeks. By this time, I felt like I should know Hannah and I was wracking my brains to remember how. I kept thinking I should message her and ask where we know each other from, but I was embarrassed to admit that I didn't recall this woman I should obviously know.
In the meantime, I found several Fresno people on Twitter, including "Relocator", who sent me a nice message that she was looking forward to my "tweets." Relocator then sends a message saying we should connect on Plaxo since she's been seeing my name everywhere ... it was Hannah! And she had been seeing me on LinkedIn and Plaxo, too. And wondering how we knew each other.
It was too funny. We decided we had to meet in person; which we did yesterday. Turns out we had several more connections in common including mutual friends, organizations, and even rival high schools. Hannah is a lot of fun, has an interesting life outside of business, and grasps the true meaning of networking. There was no agenda and no selling at our meeting, just two people looking to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. I look forward to getting to know Hannah better and seeing her more in the "real world." What a difference from the other person I saw yesterday.
P.S. Follow Hannah on Twitter