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Apopka Business

The difference between Networking and Relationship-Building

The Apopka Voice and Eggs Up Grill host a special event


Building relationships is key to success in any field.

However, many people approach it with the wrong mindset, focusing solely on self-promotion and business opportunities. But ironically, the most fruitful networking efforts come from a focus on building genuine connections and fostering meaningful relationships. 

The thought of attending a typical “networking” event often congers thoughts of fingernails scraping a blackboard or lemon juice being poured into a paper cut! The pressure to get and give as many business cards as possible can be overwhelming; when cards are received, they tend to sit in a pile on the desk because nothing is remembered about those who gave them! It ends up being a simple case of lots of activity with very little achievement.

Those who prefer the “relationship-building” strategy have a more satisfying and rewarding experience. Understanding that we do business with and recommend people we know, like, and trust, participants have a “serve not sell” mindset. They approach these events looking for opportunities to develop and nurture relationships with people who will become their raving fans – not necessarily customers or clients. The pressure to perform is almost nil, and the outcomes are so much better that recommendations are given instead of referrals.

This is the strategy that was introduced at the inaugural “Heads Up at Eggs Up” a new relationship event launched by The Apopka Voice and hosted by Eggs Up Grill in the Hunt Club area of Apopka. Attendees were asked to share how they serve their customers and clients rather than giving canned elevator speeches. In addition, they were asked to share their favorite hobbies or pastimes with each other – helping them learn more about who they are rather than what they do. Along with a presentation on branding by Kate Giordano, co-owner of Eggs Up Grill, there was a roundtable discussion where challenges were shared, and possible solutions given. 

The response to “Heads Up at Eggs Up” was a resounding “two thumbs up”!

“The meeting today was not like a typical networking event," Heartland Haven Foundation's president, Angela Jackson, said. "It was fun, inclusive, and informative. There was truly a sense of community. It felt like a safe and supportive environment for people to share ideas and get support.”

This insight was echoed by Shaunte Jemison, president and CEO of Re-imagine Communities,

“I thought I was walking into another networking event. However, today was pleasantly surprising. This wasn’t selling your business but an opportunity to get to know my neighbors. It was great seeing them in an intimate setting with no pressure… I can’t wait until the next one!” 

Valynn Sala-Diakanda, owner of British Swim Schools in Apopka, reflected, “It was an incredible experience. Everyone was authentic, refreshing, supportive, and truly there to be of service! I'm eagerly looking forward to the next opportunity to connect and build together.”

Emphasizing that this event was more than a “networking” event, Maribel Brinkle, president of The Apopka Historical Society, said, “Your inaugural ‘Heads Up at Eggs Up’ created a sense of confidence, open communication and initiatives that benefit the entire community.” 

"Everyone was engaged and seemed genuinely eager to listen/ share best practices," said Lindsey Landgrebe Ellison, a realtor at Zellwood Properties. "It felt like a support group that had been meeting for months, but it was 7:30 in the morning with people I just met. Thank you for creating a memorable event."

Though attendance at “Heads Up at Eggs Up” is a benefit for businesses and organizations that advertise in The Apopka Voice, if you would like to experience the difference between relationship-building and networking and would like to learn more about The Apopka Voice, please contact Mark Goldstein at mark@theapopkavoice.com, or call him at 407-484-3899 for an invitation to the next event.

Heads up at Eggs Up, The Apopka Voice, Eggs Up Grill, Relationship-Building, Apopka Historical Society, British Swim Schools, Re-Imagine Communities, Heartland Haven Foundation


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