Wednesday, September 28, 2011

6 Words That Will Instantly Make You A Networking Pro

f you are like most entrepreneurs, at some point you have been to a networking function that made you start to vomit a little in your mouth as yet another person tried to push their card down your throat. News flash: these people are not professional networkers. They are what I refer to as "show-ups and throw-ups." To be effective, you have to be a pro...and I am about to show you the easiest way to become one.

Network love

The best networkers are the ones who you fall in love with. They are the ones who make you want to learn more about them. And they accomplish that by falling in love with you first, and learning about you first. They do it best by—you guessed it—asking questions! When they play their cards right, you will want to take their business card and see if there are opportunities for working together on something.

Professional networkers get this. They know it is all about asking questions, and that people tend to like people who are interested in them. So, what it boils down to is that professional networkers are masters at asking questions and being good listeners. They don't try to sell, and they don't talk about themselves. They just focus on learning about you.

Quality questions

The professional networker knows that curiosity in you is overwhelmingly magnetic, and that you will ultimately seek to learn about (and do business) with them. And in every pro networker's tool box, there are six words: who, what, why, when, where, how.

These simple six words separates the pros from the schmoes! When the pros meet you, the opening sentence may be the classic "How are you?" or "What's your name?" and with that, they are off to the races.

You see, as you answer each question, they will keep using one of the six words to elicit a response. For example, when you answer their first question with a "My name is Mike," it gives them the next opportunity to say something like, "Nice name. I know a lot of good people named Mike. Where are you from?"

And the conversation continues…

"I'm from Boonton, New Jersey."

"I've never heard of Boonton. What is Boonton known for?"

And so it continues…

The questioner has control, too. They can take the discussion anywhere they like, through their questions. So, if they want to learn about your business through natural conversation, they could ask something like, "Where do you work? Also in Boonton?"

The beauty of this is that, no matter what your answer is, they now have you with the next question. "So, what is it that you do?"

Being all ears

This is a process that works, because throughout the entire process you can't help but learn to like the person. We tend to have a favorable opinion about people who show a genuine interest in us. And that is the key. Professional networkers know how to ask questions and listen to the answers—and we fall in love with them.

No question, networking is an extremely important component of your success. And with six simple words, you are armed to become a pro networker. Sure enough you will find it easy and effective to just start asking questions. They say curiosity killed the cat... I say curiosity landed the big whale of a client.

Thanks to Mike Michalowicz / Open Forum / American Express Company
http://www.openforum.com/articles/6-words-that-will-instantly-make-you-a-networking-pro?cid=em-openf-SBweekly-20110927-03&extlink=em-openf-SBweekly-20110927-03

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