Networking Successfully = Listening
The most important part of networking and building relationships is listening. This is a skill that successful and professional sales people use to perfection.
Are you really hearing what the speaker is saying? Are you watching them as well? Listening is more than listening with your ears to someone’s voice and the words they are saying. It is all about watching their expressions as well as their movements and gestures. Look at the eyes of the person who you are speaking with, be involved and listen to what isn’t being said too! This will help with your questioning.
To be successful as a networker you need to be a great listener as well as being alert and interested in what the speaker is saying. Body language can tell you more than the words that are said. If you haven’t read anything about body language, I suggest that you read at least one of Allan Pease’s books. Go to his website http://www.peaseinternational.com/ and see what he offers.
Really listening to what the person you are speaking with is saying, what their needs are and where can you support them will bring you clients and advocates quicker than anything else. When you are speaking with a prospective client, what are they really wanting and needing? Can you support them with something totally unrelated to theirs or your work? Can you pass on a good referral from your contacts that may be able to help them achieve that they are wishing to achieve?
I have said for many years that we have been given two eyes and one mouth … so use the eyes before the mouth. If you allow the person you are communicating with to talk at least twice as much as you do, then you will learn things that you would not have naturally learnt by doing all the talking. Ask questions that are pertaining to them, not yourself.
The greatest compliment you can give someone is to listen to them, as people naturally love to talk, especially about themselves or their products. Really listen though and ask questions as much as you can. This way you are empowering and encouraging them to tell you more. Don’t get the glazed look though when they are speaking as there is nothing worse than watching someone listening to a conversation, who you know isn’t listening at all. A bored listener shows too!
So, start listening more and finding out some interesting information that can support your clients as well. Being able to refer someone to your friends, customers and clients is a wonderful way to let them know that you are supporting them grow their businesses.
Wishing you happy listening and learning.
Copyright © August 2010 Jennie Gorman
Jennie is available for one-on-one sessions via Skype or in person.
For more information email her at firstname.lastname@example.org