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12 Things Super Networkers Do Differently

12 Things Super Networkers Do Differently
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Is your networking having a positive impact on your business or career? Is the time you are investing paying dividends or are your coffee dates leading to friendship and nothing more? The world revolves around relationships, we have known for years it’s not what you know but what you know AND who you know that will get you to the top.

Networking is an activity which is becoming essential for businesses and individuals to develop their careers. But it should be done with intention. Here are a number of tips which may put an end to fruitless networking and help you join the ranks of the Super Networkers.

BEFORE THE EVENT

1. They choose the right events

There are thousands of networks both online and offline you could become a part of. Choosing the right events and networks to invest your time in is the first step to effective networking. If your target market is financial services, go to events interest people from the financial services industry. Networking requires a substantial time input, so make sure your time is invested in the right place.

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2. They plan and prepare

A good networker is a good planner. Do your research in advance, know who is attending the event and figure out if anyone you know can introduce you to the person you want to speak with. Don’t float aimlessly hoping to meet the right people. Be strategic.

3. They make it about the other person

Although you go to networking events to let people know you exist, once you get there you must focus on them. It may sound counterintuitive if your intention is to grow your business connections and hopefully create interesting leads for yourself but this is how it works. Ask the question – what can I do for you? Making networking about the other person is the best way to make yourself memorable and create connections who will genuinely want to help you and your business succeed. It’s all about the other person.

4. They are present

How many times have you met someone who asks you what you do and spends the rest of the time scanning the room as you reply? How does that make you feel? Never do this to another person. We may have our targets in sight and want to get an opportunity to speak to them, but rather than make another person feel bad, tell them straight. I really want to speak to that person tonight so please excuse me while I try to connect with them. Anyone would much rather you did this than half listen to what he or she is saying.

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5. They are good listeners

Being present is the first step to being a good listener. Listen intently to the person speaking to you and think about how you may be able to help him or her. The more you remember about a person the next time you meet him or her, the better the relationship will be.

6. They ask insightful questions

In order to listen well you may have to ask clarifying and insightful questions. Show the person you are interested in him or her and what they are saying.

AFTER THE EVENT

7. They capture contacts

You arrive back from the event with a pile of business cards. Don’t just throw them in a drawer, capture the details in a way you can follow up when required. Use sales or CRM software. If you don’t have one of these packages, Excel will do just fine. Capture the details and any information you think may be relevant for future encounters.

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8. They follow up

Don’t forget to follow up. You have good intentions but you never seem to have the time to follow up. Make time. After the event follow up after a couple of days. Never do a hard sell. Say how it was nice to meet them, if you have any relevant news to tell them let them know. Never use a follow up email as a means to sell. You may want to ask permission to add your contacts to your mailing list. You could tell them you checked them out on social media and followed or liked them. You could say you looked at their website and will recommend their services if the opportunity arises. There are many ways to make the initial contact without trying to sell yourself.

9. They fulfill promises

Make sure you make a note on the night of any commitments or promises you have made to people. If you promised to forward a connection or send them information make sure you deliver. They will lose respect for you if you cannot fulfill your initial promise.

10. They use their network

If you have all your contacts together in one place it will make it easier to use your network when the time arises. If you are looking for a supplier, your network contacts should be your first port of call. Keep in touch with your network by sending them useful articles or by inviting them to a business event when one arises. Stay fresh in their minds.

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11. They make getaways

The reality of networking is there will be times when you need to make a getaway. Your ideal contact is moving towards the door and you will kick yourself if you miss this opportunity. My tactic is to tell the truth as much as possible. Excuse yourself, go speak to your target, then go back to the person you were initially speaking to. If you need to make an escape because you can’t listen to another minute of someone’s self-absorbed sales pitch, you could try telling him or her nature calls, you need a glass of water, or you need to put more money in your parking meter. Whatever way you do it, try to take the person’s feelings into account (even if he or she wasn’t worried about yours) and on a strategic level you never know who you are speaking to nor the value of their network.

12. They value quality not quantity

And lastly remember at the end of the night it is more beneficial to create two warm leads that have a pocket full of business cards.

Networking is about building relationships and this takes time. You may get frustrated starting out but know it pays off in the end. Follow these useful tips and you too can become a super networker

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Featured photo credit: IMG_9565.JPG by Andy K via morguefile.com

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Ciara Conlon

Productivity coach, speaker, blogger and author of Chaos to Control, a Practical Guide to Getting Things Done

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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