Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My No. 1 Networking Lesson

Like many others out there I try to network as best as I can. There are a number of blogs, books and articles available that focus on networking but personally I find the strategy is often easier to formulate than the actual outcome (execution)

However I was taught a lesson by Jon Burgess (www.kwan.com.au) that I have found absolutely invaluable and with Jon's permission I would like to share with you.

Basically Jon told me "When you meet someone don't think about what the person can do for you but think about what you can do for them personally". In other words, it does not matter who you are meeting, don't think about how they can help you or what you can sell them etc. Think about how you can help them personally. I took this on board and even though I was hesitant when I met very "senior" execs I still thought I would give it a go.

So every time I meet someone as part of a focused networking opportunity I ask the question, "Is there anyone you would like to meet". You will be amazed the difference it makes when you become a connector. On a side note don't think that Senior Execs do not want to network. Senior Managers may be trying to sell a service, CEOs may want to be directors, Private Equity want deals bought to them etc etc.

Immediately you move from being a person on the end of the phone or table who wants something, to being someone on the end of the phone who can offer something...MASSIVE difference but one that will help ensure you build a genuine and valuable network.


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