List Headline Image
Updated by Mandy Edwards on Oct 20, 2014
7 items   2 followers   0 votes   73 views

Traits of Successful Networkers

Here is a list of successful traits successful networkers possess.

Good Communication Skills

Communication is the key to just about everything. Businesses and personal relationships fail for lack of this. When networking, communication is essential because you want to present yourself professionally. You want to convey a message, both verbally and nonverbally. You want to appear as someone who you would want to do business with. Of course, you want to be confident when talking about your business and display your communication skills.

Active Listening

Listening is very important. There is a reason we have 2 ears and one mouth. Listening is more than just simply hearing what the other person is saying. Listening is giving them your (hopefully) undivided attention. Really paying attention to what they are saying. Repeat back something they've said. Ask relevant questions. When an attorney is telling you about a case they just had, don't ask him if he noticed the billboard for sushi by the highway.

They Educate

When networking, you are given the opportunity to educate the other person on what you do. I wouldn't give them a whole presentation but you have the chance to tell them 2 or 3 sentences about what you do. This is your elevator speech, abbreviated. This is something you should always have planned out and memorized. For example when meeting someone and they ask what I do, I say, "I own a social marketing company that provides social media consulting, management and training for businesses of all sizes." I know mine is one sentence, but I like to keep it short and sweet. It should be something that will also prompt questions.

Know When to Ask

An important piece in networking is asking - ask for a business card, ask to do lunch, ask for a meeting. When networking, when you meet someone you would like to work with our connect with - ask. You never know where that business relationship could take you.

Look for Relationship-Building Opportunities

When you network and meet people who could be great business partners, you want to take the time to get to know them. Every person knows on average 100 people. Could one of those be a potential client for you? Yes, you can't build a relationship in 5 minutes, but get a business card and meet for coffee or lunch. Networking can take place outside a business function. Networking is everywhere - the grocery store, the carpool line, at Starbucks.

Value Trust

Would you honestly refer someone you didn't trust? Great networkers introduce and refer people they not only know, but trust. When you trust someone and refer them, you are putting yourself out there and vouching for that person. Same goes in a networking situation. Do you want to introduce someone you don't trust to a friend or colleague?

Complete the Follow-Up

Send a handwritten note or an email. Show your professionalism by following up with the ones you have met. Most business relationships never take off because someone failed to follow-up.