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Networking 101 – Listen Before You Speak

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The Art of Listening.

My friend Geraldine always says that her mother used to say that “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason!”

People are so busy trying to get their 5c worth in, that they don’t listen to the other person, what their needs are and therefore what their requirements are. If you don’t know what they need, how can you effectively sell your skill or product – it might not be what they want at all!

Most people seem to think that you have to be an extrovert to be a good networker. This is often not the case. Most extroverts are usually too busy talking about their favourite subject matter, which usually means that they are talking about themselves.

Introverts, on the other hand, seem to be better listeners. They are keen to find out what the possible synergies are, not just for themselves, but also for the people within their own network.

So when you meet with someone, and the purpose of the meeting is to see where there are possible synergies, ask the other people how you can help them. Listen carefully to what it is that they are saying. Encourage them to talk about their business, what it is that they do, take down notes and if you don’t understand, ask questions. You don’t have to know the intricate details of their business and how it works, but you need to have an idea of what it is that they do – remember you should be referring them to people within your network and it’s no good sending them someone to print their business cards when what they need is someone to design the logo!

Those 5 little words are the most important in your life, remember “How can I help you?”

Listen carefully and then react!