Networking Metaphor - One of the Secrets of Effective Networking

Note: Last week, I started a series of articles on how to integrate online and offline social networking.

While researching this topic, I ran across this excellent article by Andy Britnell. Although he primarily focuses on offline social networking, his lesson is just as applicable for those using Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

If you like this article, follow me on Twitter.

A Networking Metaphor - One of the Secrets of Effective Networking

By Andy Britnell

I have been networking for many years and attended nearly every sort of networking event imaginable. I now recognise the benefit of seeing networking as an art rather than a technique. Rather than provide you with 7 tips on how to improve your networking effectiveness, I'd like to pass on a story that gives us a different view of how to network which I think is worth sharing:

I was always impressed with a particular person in my networking group who managed not only to provide quality referrals but received a lot as well. As I am a student of success I decided to find out what his secret was.

I noticed a number of tactics and strategies that he used, such as listening intently when people were doing their 60 second infomercials,writing down relevant facts, clarifying what was being offered and what was of value in the product or service, and who specifically that person needed to get connected to. He also was very good as a host during networking meetings and had a skill of engaging new visitors and pointing them in the direction of people in the room who would be useful connections.

This still didn't answer the question of why he was successful at networking, as others used the same techniques with less success. I decided to approach him and determine what the secret was.

His answer surprised me. He said it was his purpose in life to help other people succeed and he believed that everyone had something of value to offer in business - they just needed to articulate that value. He felt it was his job to help people to grow their business and in order to do that he needed to be clear on their outcomes and passion in business. In encouraging them to talk about this he helped them to become inspired and motivated about their business.

So rather than clever techniques or strategies it was the intention, values and beliefs that this person held which made him successful. It seems to me that this story proves that the more we help other people succeed in their business and pass on our kernels of knowledge about how to be effective, the more we become successful and effective ourselves.

Andy Britnell is an executive coach who works with high achievers in both the private and public sectors who wish to fulfil more of their potential by thinking and behaving more effectively.

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February 23, 2009 at 2:33 AM Ford Harding said...

This is a greats story and consistent with what I have heard from others. The helping mindset allows many who are uncomfortable with sales do it in a way consistent with who they are.
This is especially true of the shy and introverted.

Ford Harding

February 24, 2009 at 1:03 PM Charles Brown said...

Thank you Ford. The best networkers I've ever met seem to be more interested in MY success than they are their own. Now obviously they are working hard at their own business, but they realize that personal achievement comes as a byproduct of helping others.