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How To Be A Master Networker

How To Be A Master Networker

Adopt these key habits to use networking to help grow your business.

Successful networking in the modern era can be one of the greatest assets in business. Master networkers are skilled at cultivating relationships and, more importantly, capitalising on them.

It is a learnable skill and requires more effort than simply standing in a bar, shaking hands and giving out business cards. There are several basic rules to follow, starting with being a person of your word.

“If you get a referral, whether it’s a simple piece of information, a special contact or a qualified business referral follow up quickly and then let the referee know that you followed up and how successful it was,” explains Alexis Dyson of Biz-Group.

“No matter how small a promise you make – such as sending an email or returning a phone call, delivering on that promise reflects positively on your character. By following through on your word, you start building a reputation for trustworthiness, which is exactly how every master networker aims to be perceived.”

Working a room full of people you’ve never met before requires confidence and Dyson’s tip is to leave any negativity at the door.

“Unsurprisingly a consistently negative attitude makes people dislike being around you and drives away referrals. A positive attitude on the other hand makes people want to associate and cooperate with you. Positive business professionals are like magnets – others want to be around them and will send their friends, family and associates to them.

“One of the best sales characteristics is conviction. To be respected by potential clients and referrers, master networkers know to sell their services with conviction.”

The best networkers know the industry is as much about giving as it is getting back. You can’t expect to be inundated with referrals and opportunities if you don’t offer any yourself.

As Leith Matthews, founder of MAKE business hub explains, being interested in what’s happening for new people you meet is more important than simply promoting your own agendas.

“Try to offer assistance to others, and be interested on what they are doing, rather than trying to promote only what you are working on,” says Matthews.

“I’m a huge advocate for the benefits of collaboration, and I’m excited about the possibilities that come out of the exchange of ideas between individuals. Meeting new people everyday can connect those who have the potential to help each other make things happen.”

Networking does lend itself to some industries, sectors and roles more so than others. For example, you are more likely to network, if you are in a client-facing role than if you are in human resources or IT.

Matthews believes that for some, networking reflects the stage of business development a company or individual is at, and how important new contacts and relationships are at that given time.

“Being an entrepreneur demands you to get out there and hustle, and SMEs thrive on working together, so this sector sees a dynamic networking scene,” says Matthews.

“It’s then up to the individual to connect with relevant people, and apply those connections in a way that helps them develop their idea and make it happen.”

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