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The Top 10 Keys to Becoming a Master Networker
The Top 10 Keys to Becoming a Master Networker
Networking...1980's style was a fad. It was the yuppie
answer to the good ole' boys. Over-dressed and over-
ambitious people attended over-crowded cocktail parties and
frantically swapped business cards while planning to "do
lunch" soon. No longer a fad, networking in the 90's is a
survival success skill. In our competitive business world,
the more contacts we have..the more people who know about
us and what we do..our talents and abilities...the more
opportunities we will have.
For some people, networking comes naturally. Their antenna
is always up. They actually have FUN with it. However, for
most people, networking is a learned skill and one that
needs practice in order to feel comfortable and be
effective. Try these tips to give yourself a jump-start and
enjoy the rewards of becoming a Master Networker.
1. Develop the right ATTITUDE. You have to want to make the
effort! We are all attracted to people who are approachable
and friendly. SMILE and ENJOY the opportunity
to make new contacts.
2. Network EVERYWHERE and with EVERYONE. The opportunities
to make new contacts are endless. People frequently think
of networking only at events such as Chamber of Commerce
meeting and Professional Organization. Some of the most
productive contacts come from chance encounters...in the
grocery check-out line, at the ball
park, in the doctor's or dentist's waiting room, in an
elevator, at a party, and the list goes on. Whenever and
wherever there is another human being there is an
opportunity to network.
3. Set a Networking Goal Each Week. Set a goal each week
for the number of new contacts you want to make. Start with
even one or two until your confidence grows. Then, increase
4. Make The First Move. Greet everyone with smile and a
friendly hello followed by a
positive comment or open-ended question to get a
conversation going. At a party or other gathering approach
people standing alone and draw them into conversation. Most
people hesitate to approach a group of friends already in
conversation. The individual standing alone will welcome
your approach and you will find it easy to initiate an
5. Work Up A Memorable Introduction. In twenty-five words
or less be prepared to say who you are and what you do...in
a way that will make the other person want to know more
about you. Then, immediately ask questions to learn more
about your new contact. Use their name several times during
the first five minutes of conversation.
6. Arm Yourself With Professional Business Cards and Wear
An Attractive Name Tag. Both business cards and a name tag,
especially a name tag that lists your profession or
business name in an intriguing way helps attract the
interest and reinforces name recognition. John Doe,
Business Coach ,
is almost guaranteed to prompt questions about what
coaching is...a great opening to share your expertise and
gain new clients or referrals. When you do swap cards with
someone, jot down a reminder on the back such
as where you met, what you discussed, sales opportunities,
etc. Printing a quote, helpful hint, or other original and
interesting information on your own card will encourage
others to keep the card and remember you. Finally, always
carry your cards in an attractive case. Dog-earred
and stained cards dug from the depths of a handbag or
pocket detract from
your professional image.
7. Be Prepared With A Mental GET & GIVE List. Networking is
a reciprocal process. It is about getting and giving
information, resources, advice and referrals. Maintain a
mental "Give List"...a tip, idea, resource, or recent
discovery you can share. Your "Get List" will be
information you are seeking, people you want to meet, and
referrals you would like to have.
8. Organize Your Network Resource Bank. Record new
acquaintances and contacts on your Team 100 List, in a
rolodex, use computer software or even index cards. Set up
whatever system works best for you to keep in touch and
nurture your new contacts.
9. FOLLOW-UP!!! Use your resource file to keep in touch
with those in your network. Never give out your card and
say, "give me a call." Follow-up is your responsibility.
Research shows that amazingly only 20% of sales leads are
ever followed up....80% of potential opportunities are lost
failure to follow-up. Use every opportunity to send a
follow-up personal note, a thank you, a congratulations, or
a relevant article of information.
10. WORK! The only place success comes before work is in
the dictionary. Remember WORK makes up the better part of