How to be a great networker

It has been said that people, in general, do not remember a person until they have had eight to 10 contacts with them. The same holds true in networking.

It has been said that people, in general, do not remember a person until they have had eight to 10 contacts with them. The same holds true in networking.

by Mary Sanders — 

How often do you think about being on the giving side instead of the receiving side? Many people attend networking meetings with the attitude of “What am I going to get out of this?” Sadly, the regulars in a group know this type of visitor all too well. They attend one or two meetings; once they have collected all the regular attendees’ business cards, they start to call and try to sell them.

Once a person has identified particular networking groups of interest to them, the key to becoming a part of the group lies in how and what you do. Consistency is one of the main components of being accepted into any group. Commitment to attending each meeting for many months, even years, is important.

It has been said that people, in general, do not remember a person until they have had eight to 10 contacts with them. The same holds true in networking. When you attend networking meetings, think about applying a couple of the following techniques.

  • Smile and listen, but be genuine. People love to tell their stories; therefore, when you listen, chances are you will discover many new things about the other person.
  • Schedule to meet a member or two away from the networking meeting. Go with the attitude of inquiry, that you are going to learn more about that person and their business or service.
  • Look for ways to help others with their business or service. Once you put on your thinking cap and get creative, you would be surprised by the ideas you can come up with.
  • Focus on how you can help someone else.
  • Be patient. Building relationships takes time and nurturing. Neither friendships nor business partnerships are built in a day.
  • Think positively. The power of a positive attitude can have a snowball effect; the more it rolls and absorbs the bigger it gets.
  • Above all, don’t give up. The key to building a lasting relationship with other businesspeople is a combination of all these things and more. Give and give and give to your acquaintances. Eventually it will cycle back around to you. Give from the heart and for the right reasons; you will be on the receiving end sooner than you think.

 

Mary Sanders is with Payroll Control Systems, a full-service payroll company. www.pcspayroll.com, 602-522-9800 or msanders@pcspayroll.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 4, August/September 2005.

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