Top 9.5 Rules For Achieving Positive and Profitable Networking Results

Most people take networking for granted, and think of it more as a place to meet friends and clients rather than capture an opportunity. They also fail to realize that people, whether you know them or not, are cultivating an impression of you – not just about what you look like, but also based on how you act and how you dress.

Your physical presence, your physiology, and your communication prowess can determine whether the outcome is business or no business.

 

These are my top 9.5 rules for achieving positive and profitable networking results:


1. I shake and look. When I shake someone's hand, it's a firm grasp and a direct look in the eye.

2. I smile. Even in New York City. I found that by giving smile, I get a smile.

3. I ask before I tell. Whether I ask for their name, or a simple "how are you?" I want to hear the other person before they hear me.

4. I give before I get. I have always tried to make connections for others before I ask for one myself.

5. I don't make small talk. I make big talk. I don't want to talk about the weather. I want to talk about life and business life.

6. I want to make certain that I take a "next step" if the opportunity is there. Anything from a simple exchange of business cards, to a cup of coffee, to an office meeting, to an invite to a social event, I want to make sure that my objective is achieved before I leave to talk to the next person.

7. Known or unknown? That is the question. I prefer to invest the majority of my networking time with people that I do not know. The reason is that I tend to make small talk with people that I know, and bigger talk with people that I don't know. My personal rule has always been, small talk leads to small business or no business, and big talk leads to big business, or the opportunity for big business.

8. I like everyone and qualify no one. If you like people, it's likely they will like you back. If you try to qualify people (by asking them questions about money or circumstance), their guard will go up.

9. Every connection need not be a sale. Make friends, build rapport, and provide value to everyone without prejudging or qualifying them. I refer to it as: "the rule of you never know." And "you never know" has no time limit. Sometimes "you never know" happens in a week, and sometimes it happens 5 years later. That's why it's called "you never know."

9.5 I am brief. Time allocation at a networking event is not an option. If there are 60 people in the room and the meeting lasts for one hour, you have 1 minute per person if you want to meet everyone. If you take 5 minutes with each person, you can only meet 12 people. The choice is yours, but be aware of time.

- - from Jeff Gitomer's Sales Caffeine ezine. Jeff Gitomer is a national speaker, salesman extraordinaire, and author.

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