I’ve always looked for people to emulate, someone who is a master networker. Today I read a story in Inc. Magazine about someone who would win the title hands down.
Problem is that I can’t imagine anyone emulating his habit of working 16 hours a day and making hundreds of phone calls a day.
The worst part is that he targets someone he wants to meet and he is relentless in trying to reach that person. He’ll call an assistant multiple times trying to get through, not taking no for an answer. In total he might have to make half a dozen attempts to get through to someone.
This is something I just can’t do. If this is what it takes to be successful as a networker, even a mild version of this, then I give up.
I think that it’s important to know that networking is, in fact, hard work,. The best networkers I know not only spend time devoted to making contact, but also time devoted to ensuring that they always make their networking conversations about the target person not about themselves or about selling something. A successful networker will always bring something of value to the conversation and or emails. A successful networker will also park their ego at the door and listen.
Like the selling process, successful networking means persistently and consistently bringing something of value to the conversation that the person can’t readily generate elsewhere. If someone is reluctant to meet with me despite my best efforts. It’s time to look in the mirror. It’s time to think long and hard about what I’m bringing to the conversation.
I was recently told that at the end of the day networking is really about being “top of mind”. I think that that is true. I think that at the end of the day networking, unlike selling, is really all about adding value to someone’s life. Serving that person’s interests FIRST. And perhaps then that person will remember you and your topic later on and help you down the road. Pretty simple in the end, but it is a labour of love.
If they ain’t listening, it’s time to think about what you’re bringing to the table.
Yes you’re absolutely right. I’ve pondered your response for the weekend. Thing is that not everyone actually likes doing this. Take something that is hard to do and add a little fear and loathing and networking becomes a chore instead of something to look forward to.