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.


Buddy Hodges said...

Indeed, your No.1 Lesson is fundamental to business networking. You have summarized the essence of being a connector and a go-giver.

I think, as Kathy Mattea quoted Mark Twain, "It's gotta come from the heart if you want it to work." I am thankful to my parents, teachers, et al, for instilling in me sincere caring for others and the enjoyment of being of service.

I wonder sometimes what it would take for a hypothetical person who does not naturally feel empathy and generosity to change his attitude.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your post completely Craig! It's something that I've tried to put into practice whenever I meet a new contact, with some pretty great results. Putting the other persons needs first is always the best way to build a solid relationship.

- Kon

Kimberly Mullin said...

I think that aspiring businessmen should learn from your blog and yes, I agree with you that if you really want people or the public to support and patronize your business, you must also learn to care for them to be able to produce a good quality services and products. That's why I think it also helps to have your own asset protection trust to be able to learn and study the nature of your possible consumers.

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