Com­mon but vi­tal sense for net­work­ing

The National - News - Business - - The Life - Suzanne Locke busi­ness@thena­

Net­work­ing is one of those things all of us are told to do reg­u­larly, yet most of us con­fess we could do bet­ter and more of­ten. Net­work­ing Thought­fully: The 30 Minute Read That Could Change Your Life is a speedy read that prom­ises to help you.

Chil­dren are per­fect role mod­els in how to net­work, says the au­thor Martin Wheadon. They are opin­ion­ated, talk with­out fear of re­jec­tion, laugh a lot and are good at both in­tro­duc­ing peo­ple they meet to friends and at stay­ing in touch.

Net­work­ing, he says, is not just for win­ning new busi­ness or mak­ing new busi­ness as­so­ciates – it will also bring you up to date with events in your in­dus­try.

The book reads as a se­ries of 30 lessons, the most mem­o­rable of which is to be “in­ter­est­ing” for seven sec­onds and “in­ter­ested” the rest of the time in any con­ver­sa­tion. This way, you are most likely to get to the nub of what the per­son you are chat­ting to is look­ing for – and how you can fill their gap. “Your think­ing or mind­set should be: ‘What can I do for them?’ not: ‘What can this per­son do for me?’” he writes. Wheadon also rec­om­mends you know your own unique sell­ing point and can trans­late that into 10 rea­sons why some­one should want to buy from you. Turn the fea­tures of your prod­uct or ser­vice into ben­e­fits by in­sert­ing the phrases “which means …” and “which will re­sult in you hav­ing …”, he says.

Sep­a­rate out the busi­ness cards you col­lect at events into longterm pos­si­bil­i­ties from busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties you can take ad­van­tage of straight away.

Write the date, event and a snip­pet of some­thing in­ter­est­ing on the back. And if you ac­cept a card, do con­tact the per­son.

Do not ever be afraid to ask for busi­ness or to ask a per­son if they know some­one else who could help you, says Wheadon.

This is a quick and easy read, al­though most of the tips are com­mon sense. But it might pro­vide the in­cen­tive you need to get out there net­work­ing.

Af­ter all, net­work­ing is pow­er­ful. Con­sider this: al­most half of jobs are filled by net­work­ing, rather than re­cruiters or job boards, ac­cord­ing to a 2013 study by Right Man­age­ment.

The book is pub­lished by Troubadour and avail­able to buy on Ama­ in pa­per­back for US$8.58 or on Kin­dle for $4.93.

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