Networking again. Podcast by Safaraz Ali –
Networking is a big topic and so a second episode is given to this important issue.
This deals with some of the techniques and pitfalls.
Safaraz makes clear that a key quality of a good networker is the ability to listen – just as important and perhaps more important than speaking. We have two ears and one mouth and should use them in that proportion.
Some sound advice given to a novice networker was: ‘don’t sell, help.’ But it is only possible to really help by understanding the problems that the other person is facing.
Another often used phrase of wisdom is that ‘people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.’
At the heart of this is the importance of trust. People will rarely do business of any significance with someone unless they trust them, and trust is a precious commodity that often takes time to build and is easily broken.
One business networking group suggests that networkers can be categorised as either farmers or hunters and this has an element of truth. A farmer wants to build a relationship, a hunter wants to identify prey and sell.
There are those best avoided at networking events. Safaraz believes that ‘bravado is baloney’ and boasters are best avoided.
Then there are also those who you know are not really listening but constantly look over your shoulder for a ‘better prospect.’
Networking events are very rarely about making sales but are about starting a relationship. They can involve a next step like a one-to-one meeting for a coffee. But people are different and for some this may be a step too far and something like looking to connect on LinkedIn may be less threatening.
The ‘P word’ patience is one of the key characteristics of the effective networker.
One of Safaraz’s favourite sayings is that everything starts with a conversation and that could not be truer that with networking.