q&a

mu­tual ben­e­fits ex­plored

The National - News - Business - - The Life -

Martin Wheadon of­fers Suzanne Locke more in­sights from his book Net­work­ing Thought­fully:

q How did you be­come so good at net­work­ing?

a I was work­ing as a se­nior busi­ness man­ager for a bank in the City of Lon­don, a 30-year ca­reer. I wanted a way for my cus­tomers to meet and do busi­ness to­gether, so I started an af­ter­noon club called The High Tea Club, of­fer­ing cof­fee and sand­wiches. I spon­sored it my­self so I would have the free­dom to fail with­out be­ing ac­count­able to any­one. When I went net­work­ing, I in­vited peo­ple along, and thus fresh blood was in­fused. The club was dis­con­tin­ued af­ter I left the bank.

You say it’s best to stay to the very end of a net­work­ing event – why?

Be­cause I am quite in­tro­verted in so­cial sit­u­a­tions where I don’t know any­body, any time I stay to the end is a tri­umph. Peo­ple of­ten tend to be more them­selves be­cause you are more re­laxed.

How should we pri­ori­tise con­tacts?

Sep­a­rate into three sets. Gold: you both got on well and felt you could help and it’s just a phone call away. Sil­ver: the same sit­u­a­tion would need time to de­velop. Bronze: it was nice to have the con­ver­sa­tion, but you don’t think you can help them at the mo­ment, nor they you – but maybe in the fu­ture.

How can you pos­si­bly de­scribe your­self and your busi­ness in seven sec­onds?

By un­der­stand­ing the very essence of what the com­pany is and what it stands for.

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