The Best Handful of Tips 96 –
It’s not what you know but who you know that counts most.
It is essential to get known and to network to build new business relationships and generate new work opportunities.
Try to connect with people you enjoy, people you have common interests with and people who can help you.
The five best tips for making contacts
Join groups that interest you
Enhance your life with friends and contacts.
There are three main types of grouping.
First, the professional and business type groups – professional societies, service clubs and staff colleges etc.
Then there is the hobby, sporting, educational and religious types of grouping.
Thirdly, there’s the Internet which can connect people from all over the world.
Join groups that appeal to you and make an effort to contribute to the group. If you want something, you will need to give something.
Make a contribution. Join in activities and help organise events. Take an position. Become a club secretary, treasurer or the president. Contribute to the group and gain respect.
Go out of your way to help others. Generosity is an attractive quality and it is something specially that people will remember about you. Become a trainer or a mentor.
Move around at social events and talk to many people. Show you are interested in others and ask open-ended questions. “How is your family doing?” “Where did you grow up?” “How can I help?”
Make an effort to improve your listening skills. Don’t talk too much. Become a good listener. Good questioners and tolerant listeners are popular people.
Follow up fast
If you say you will do something to help someone, do it as soon as possible.
Respond to any referrals you are given as soon as you can. Keep in touch and let them know how the new connections are going. Your contact will feel grateful their contacts were useful and admire you for seizing the opportunity.
Collect and file business cards or use an electronic filing system. You must be able to make contact quickly if and when required.
Keeping a diary can be a valuable tool and can bring you rewards when you need names, dates and specific details, such as dates or specific events.
Jot down notes about people so you can quickly establish a rapport with them next time you meet. “Keen sports person.” Has a family of three school girls.” “Born in Australia.” “Is an active Freemason.” “A keen Rotarian.”
Groups should meet on a regular basis to reinforce contacts and to refresh relationships.
Business networking is successful when groups of like-minded business people recognise, create and act upon opportunities and go out of their way to help each other. Groups of farmers can greatly benefit from sharing ways to overcome seasonal problems, useful ideas and lending equipment.
A wise person knows everything, a clever one, everybody.
“Fortify your life with friends and contacts – it’s a sound investment.”
Source: “Secrets for New Managers” published by Moss Associates Ltd., New Zealand (www//mossassociates.co.nz) and Cengage Learning Asia, Singapore. From a series of articles first published in “Today’s Manager” the official bi-monthly publication of the Singapore Institute of Management (now Singapore University of Social Sciences) Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com and from the VitalSource Bookshelf.