Focus! If you are too busy to listen, your probably shouldn’t be networking.
Many people start with a networking group by looking for immediate gains, for favorable results for themselves. If this is what you are trying to achieve, you are networking for the wrong reasons and will be sticking out like a sore thumb. When you help others – you get helped.
When you meet someone new at a networking event be sure you focus all of your attention on them. If you are too busy to listen, they will notice. Act like you are interested. Be sincere. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Create a favorable image when you show up by calling people by their name. Not using names, says, “I’m not interested in you.”
When you hear someone’s name, repeat it if need be to be sure you heard it correctly. A person’s name is their most important possession. People want to know you are interested in them. Calling them by name helps accomplish this. Insert their name in the conversation immediately. It will help you remember it. Keep the conversation going with questions that cannot be answered “yes” or “no.”
Networking – if you do it right – will teach you patience. Why? Because one of the primary reasons you network is to build long-lasting, close business relationships. That takes time. Networking is certainly no “quick fix” if you or your business is about to go down for the count. I hope you have learn that by now.
The reason some people aren’t very good listeners is because during most discussions, they are too busy thinking about that they are going to say next, rather than on the conversation at hand. When their words become a gentle, persistent buzz in the background of your life, you’re not paying attention. That is not a good time to let your mind drift.
At your next networking event, make it a point to “block out” everyone else in the room and focus your mental attention on what the other person is saying. Looking over someone’s shoulder to scan the room for someone more important to talk with is a networking no-no. Your focus must be 100 percent.
It is a sure fire way to demonstrate your respect and help them feel their message has value.
Networking works. It is an effective way to build supportive personal and business relationships. It is consistently meeting new people and making new friends. Just make sure you don’t fall into the “Lousy Listener” category!
BONUS Article: When Listening Isn’t Enough
Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Adapted from Larry’s latest book, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Networking Coach. He presents networking seminars nationally and “Networking” coaching by telephone or one-on-one. Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”
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