What are the traits of a good networker?
There are 12 traits that I feel make a good networker stand out… of course, there are more than these 12, but these are probably some of the major ones from my perspective.
So, I ask you, are you an outstanding networker or would you like to become one? All people who have been networking for a long time will tell you, that you never stop learning, especially as the marketplace is continually changing and people’s priorities change with it.
Did you know that great networkers can help you achieve what you want to achieve? They can also take you where you want to go by introducing you to the right people. They hone their skills continuously and you will see them in the marketplace in different venues, with different people and making new connections to help their clients and community.
You may wonder ‘What traits does a great networker have to have to help their tribe/ community to move to the next level and make them truly outstanding at what they do?’
Here is my list in a little detail of some of the qualities that make a networker stand out:
- They listen and watch what others are doing – observing others around them and listening to conversations will give any good networker the opportunity to recognise where and when they can help other people. They think on their feet and know who is the best and most appropriate person is to help or support the person talking.
- They become known by attending others events – you will notice that a good networker will always support other networkers build their community/tribe. They will always offer to help out by jumping in without being asked and helping as best they can. A good networkers knows no scarcity and is willing to share their contacts, their knowledge and their support. A good networker will always attend other networkers events as often as they can to show their support to ‘the cause’.
- They follow up – After meeting someone new or attending an event a good networker will follow up with the people they wish to keep in contact with in the future. They will not judge anyone on who they are and what they do, as they are aware that ‘people know people’ and you never know who they are. A good referral often comes from an unexpected contact.
- They support and encourage in public – Few things can boost your friends and clients more than praise or testimonials from a peer, especially a peer you look up to. Outstanding networkers recognise the skills of others, especially in group settings where the impact of their words is even greater.
- They give good referrals without expectation – Become known for giving great referrals. You only need to give a bad one for people to comment, so think clearly about who you pass a referral onto. Make sure that there is a compatibility between the two people.
- They know and understand niche marketing – The first thing a business needs to understand is who they wish to sell their products and/or services to. For most businesses this is hard to define and break down into their particular niche. I suggest that you try out different ones until you finally settle into a place that is comfortable. It is okay to have more than one niche as long as you keep it separated so as not to confuse your clients.
- They use social media – This is the most powerful and cost effective tool for your marketing, why else would the Fortune 500 companies be there? LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google + to name the essentials, I believe, for business owners. Understanding the etiquette of each of these is very important as it changes with each one. Branding yourself and your business is very important if you wish to monetise your time and effort with social media. Be prepared to spend a certain amount of time a day on this medium.
- They brand themselves – With all the changes in business today business owners have realised that they need to brand themselves with a consistent message. It is important to have ‘good tools’ in your tool box. Your business card and/or website are your shop window and the first thing many future customers see of you. So, make your website, blogs, e-newsletters, magazines, social media, business cards etc using the same story.
- They goal set – Without clear and concise goals no business can move forward into the future. So just as a business owner sets goals for his business, a good networker will also set goals for their networking outcomes. So, never go to a networking event without knowing what it is you want to achieve at that event.
- Ask questions for others – Some small business people are hesitant to speak up and really say what they need. Some are even hesitant to speak up privately. For example, a business owner asked me a question about getting referrals. After the meeting I said, “Why did you ask that question? You already know how to do that, as you are a great networker.” He said, “Yeah, I did, but a lot of other people don’t — and they needed to hear the answer from you.” Outstanding networkers have a feel for the issues and concerns of those around them and step up to ask questions others are hesitant to ask. So, support your fellow friends and acquaintances.
- They know that it is not who you know, but who knows you – Becoming known both in your niche as well as outside it is imperative. Profiling is what they do all the time without even realising it. Never underestimate anyone you meet. You do not know who they are, who they know and who knows them. Make the world your friends and discover the most incredible understated people out there.
- They love people! – This is the most important part of being a networker. If you don’t like people, forget networking as it will show. Networkers support and promote/sell others without even realising that they are doing it. It’s their way of giving back for all that they receive.
"Don't find customers for your products, find products for your customers."
— Seth Godin
"Transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion."
— Seth Godin (Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?)
Copyright © 2011 Jennie Gorman