Originally Posted by bringusingoodale
What is exactly is networking?
It seems to have secured job offers you must have developed some sort of rapport beyond the compulsory etiquette.
Realistically, all my job entailed (before I was made manager) was knowing the product, helping people pick it, and ringing them up.
What I've made a point of doing is getting to know my regulars, their businesses, and their interests. I pay close attention to all of my customers, I take the best care of them I can. Little things like letting them stay a bit late, occasionally giving someone a cigar I paid for, stocking the odd bottle of mediocre whisky (my boss doesn't generally maintain a liquor locker). Little things like that impress people a disproportionate amount. Likewise, taking an interest and asking questions in their area of expertise is a great way to make people think you're smarter than you are, and like you more than they should.
If one of my more affluent customers just moved, and is looking for a painter, or landscaper, or roofer, I'll recommend another customer or friend who I feel is particularly passionate or professional in that field based on my observations during my interaction with them.
There are a number of examples of situations where someone was wanting for something, and I knew someone reliable who could offer that good or service. It is key that both parties are reliable, broker bad deals and you'll be known as a bullshitter. I also make a point of never mentioning or expecting a finders fee.
If you do your job well, and it obvious that you're motivated, and keep people indebted to you, they'll likely pull whatever strings they have available to help you out down the road. If I refuse a 500$ finders fee now, they'll think they owe me a favor when a job opening I'm reasonably close to qualified for comes due in their company. I'll take a shot at a high paying job over a few hundred dollars 9 times out of 10.
Basically, make friends, be nice, do what you can for other people, and make sure they're the right people. If you do that, some of them will go out of their way to take care of you too.