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Are You A Born Networker? Four Observations

by Jason Sanders on November 26, 2009 · 1 comment

in Networking

Everyone’s answer to the title question should be “No”.  Sure there are introverts and extroverts and those that definitely make networking look easy.  But ask anyone who is good at something, be it a professional athlete or any kind of professional and you’ll always find out that a lot of work goes into making something “look easy”.

The truth is that networking is a skill.  Sure it may be easier for some than for others, but no one gets a free pass.  Everyone has to put the “Work” in Networking (or any other skill) in order to get positive results.  In a society that values instant gratification, this may not be the answer everyone is looking for.

A lot of people think external tools are all it takes.  If I only had a bigger rolodex.  If I could only find the right social media platform.  If I only had 100,000 twitter followers.  If I could only find the right networking group.  This type of thinking inevitably leads to disappointment because it places the key to success on external elements instead of internal ones.  It’s impossible to build a networking machine.  Instead, you have to become transformed into a networker.

If you’re interested in taking this journey, keep the following traits of a networker in mind:

1. A networker always gives first.  Instead of focusing on what you want, focus on providing value in unconventional ways.

2. A networker has goals.  How many sales do you need per month?  What percentage of those sales should be generated through referrals?  How many business relationships do you need to generate that many referrals?  Reverse engineering your goals puts you on the path to meeting your objectives.

3. A networker schedules time to network.  Networking is a long sighted proposition.  It takes time to build trust and report and earn referrals (yes earn).  Schedule networking as part of your work week.  You have a plan, now you have to execute it. (For those crimped on time, The Value Pages Group is a great way to get your networking in at times that are flexible and convenient to your schedule.)

4. A networker follows up.  When you first start networking it feels like all your doing is planting seeds.  Don’t forget to go back and water them.  Remember the best networkers focus on building relationships.  This means you have to make time to connect and engage in order to reap your rewards.

It’s never too late to start networking.  With the right mindset and consistently executing a well thought out plan, networking can really pay off for your business.  I want to know what’s helping you achieve your networking goals.  What good or bad experiences do you have to share?

Jason Sanders @ValuePagesGroup
Business Networking Specialist

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