Test Your Networking Know-How
Let's test your knowledge on networking:
1)The best definition of networking is:
2) Why do you network?
3) What are the most effective ways to network?
4) True or False: Networking is not a skill, but rather a hereditary trait passed down from your father not unlike height or Male Pattern Baldness.
5) True or False: Networking isn't always strategic, but frequently occurs by an accident and/or stroke of luck which falls in your lap like a gift from God.
Networking is the development and maintenance of mutually beneficial relationships. It's not schmoozing, it's not handing out business cards, it's not selling, it's not marketing, and it's not small talk. Some of those activities might be part of networking, but be careful not to confuse form with function. Networking is a process that takes the right attitude, patience and organization.
Networking is one of, if not THE leading way to increase your business. In fact, I get almost 100% of my business from some form of networking. And with proper preparation and implementation, a networking plan can be your catalyst for dramatically changing the way you deal with, obtain and maintain your business relationships.
Networking is also sharing information. Your most valuable resource is other people. And the supply never ends! I once read a quotation from my favorite author, a philosopher by the name of Anonymous, who said, "Even though it's not what you know but who you know - remember that who you know teaches you what you know."
Networking is a skill. It is not an inherent trait. It takes time to develop. Now, clearly some people are more extroverted, friendly and outgoing than others. And that certainly helps. But anyone can develop their networking skills with a little research and plenty of practice, and in so doing become a monument of approachability.
Networking is helping others. Some people just don't get it. They honestly believe it's all about them. False. Networking is, as aptly stated by Zig Ziglar "getting what you want by helping other people get what they want first."
Here's some great tips to help you put these ideas into practice:
Before and After
Don't Limit Yourself
Become a resource
Keep a pen and paper
If you've ever said this sentence before, you know how valuable a simple notepad can be. I recommend carrying a small pen and paper with you, wherever you go. Keep it right next to your business card holder. My little notepad is the single greatest accessory I've ever purchased in my life. It has saved my butt - and other people's butts - numerous times. You can buy these at any luggage store at your local mall for under $20. Most of them have refills for the paper and a nice pen that fits inside the pad. And I can't begin to tell you how many ideas, names, phone numbers or recommended book titles I've written down the exact moment someone told me.
Stick with it
Here's an example. In March of 2004, one of my audience members approached me for a copy of HELLO, my name is Scott. As I was signing it, we talked about possibly working together in the future. We exchanged cards and stayed in touch over the next few weeks. Shortly thereafter, I received an email from a guy named Paul, one of the audience member's friends. He was interested in featuring my website in his newsletter. Little did I know his ezine had well over 10,000 subscribers! And two of those subscribers just so happened to be two meeting planners who booked me for two programs six months later.
Get the Story Straight
Create a Custom Nametag
Spice It Up
What's your networking know-how?
TEST RESULTS: C, D, D, F, T
© 2005 All Rights Reserved.
Scott Ginsberg is a professional speaker, "The World's Foremost Expert on Nametags" and the author of HELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. He helps people MAXIMIZE their approachability and become UNFORGETTABLE communicators - one conversation at a time. For more information contact Front Porch Productions at http://www.hellomynameisscott.com.
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