Ivan Misner, Guest Author –
When I ask people what they think the #1 trait of a master networker is, most people think it’s that master networkers, above all, give referrals to others.
However, according to a survey of more than two thousand business people from four countries that was published in Masters of Networking, a book I co-wrote with Don Morgan, the number one trait of master networkers is that they follow up on the referrals they are given. “Giving referrals” didn’t even make the top five!
The reason for this top ranking is that if you present opportunities to someone who consistently fails to follow up successfully – whether it’s a simple piece of information, a special contact, or a qualified business referral – it’s no secret that you’ll eventually stop wasting your time on that person. He’s an embarrassment to you, as the referral giver, and to the prospect, who ends up wondering if he did something wrong.
So, if you strive to be a master networker, always remember: when it comes to business referrals, following up is not an option; it’s a life-or-death requirement.
Larry’s Note: “An educated person is not necessarily the one who has the knowledge, but the one who knows where to get it when needed.” – Napoleon Hill
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Copyright © 2009 – Ivan Misner. Reprinted with permission. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his recently released New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths. Adapted from the article, “Attending Networking Events.”