Networking is about building social capital, it is so much more than exchanging business cards or sitting next to someone at the dinner table. In my experience there are seven common traits all great networkers have.
- They are fantastic at building rapport and good relationships quickly. They are not shy about approaching people in a crowded room. They can put people at ease and effortlessly carry on a conversation. To be a fantastic relationship builder you have to turn up at events and need to be seen and heard. The more of these events you go to the more experienced you will become at working a room. It might take you out of your comfort zone but that’s part of the deal when you decide to be an entrepreneur.
- They are authentic when they meet people. I always say that people can see and hear when you really mean what you’re saying. Being yourself is what makes you unique so don’t throw away that precious gift by trying to be like someone else.
- They have great listening skills so that when someone else is talking their focus is completely on that person and that individual feels that they are the most important person in the room at that moment in time. Great networkers do little things like repeat statements you have made to strengthen the connection and ask powerful questions to get you to open up and extend the conversation.
- They have a positive attitude – have you ever met a great networker who is negative and miserable all the time? Probably not. Having a positive attitude makes people want to be around you and engage with you and ultimately contribute to your business success.
- They know their elevator pitch so that when they meet a target client they can get across easily why they do what they do, who they are and how their target client can’t work without them.
- They get greater mileage from their networks being a great connector for others. People remember the contact who introduced them to their next big client. A fruitful relationship is one that benefits both sides.
- They always follow-up and honour their commitments. If you want to be remembered then there is no question about this, you simply do it.
If you follow the above you will start to design your own networking roadmap and become one of those strategic entrepreneurs that get in front of the right people and are able to capitalise on opportunities for business success.
I would love to hear what you think are the most important traits all good networkers should have.