People often ask me what the #1 skill is in networking. Through all my research throughout the last twenty years, I would say that, hands down, it would be networking and here are three reasons why.
First, think of the very best vendors you have bought from. What sticks out in your mind most about them? If you are like most of my clients they would first say what great people they were BEFORE they commented on the services or products they sold.
Second, ask yourself if you were ready to buy something that you have been wanting for awhile, looking forward to buying, almost salivating at the mouth to buy, but, unfortunately, you meet up with one of the worst salesperson you ever met. I mean this salesperson is rude, ignorant and disinterested. They almost go out of their way to make you miserable in purchasing something you were so excited about purchasing when you went to the buying table. At this point would you want to buy that product? I bet you would think twice.
Third, imagine vendors who, instead of treating you with disinterest or disdain, do just the opposite. They call you regularly to see if they can be of service. They email you with insightful articles or resources that compliment the work they are doing with you. They are proactive and responsive. They connect with you socially as well as professionally. They are good business friends.
These examples just help us realize the importance of someone who is good at building relationships. They are good at making you look good and, in return, you enjoy doing business with them. These are good networkers and the reason they can be so effective is because they are “exchanging” with other people in their network resources, connections and professional support on a regular basis. The net effect of their networking is that you benefit because they know how to network well.
And, now, more than ever, because of online social network tools like LinkedIn, Facebook and others, you can connect more effectively, looking like the best sales people in your own business or career. It’s all about getting started with your own community of learning a practice.
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