Everyone notices the great schmoozers in the middle of a crowd roaring with laughter. Bystanders are quick to praise their networking skills. Their storytelling holds audiences hostage. They always have the right punch line at the right time. They are quick to make key introductions between influential professionals who secretly wanted to connect. On the golf course or the annual conference’s after-hours event, they look like a million bucks, every time.
However, that schmoozer is fooling the crowd. The best networkers connect buyers with sellers. They access people and products that solve very specific problems. Master networkers religiously provide extraordinary service in every deal where they participate. Most importantly, great networkers create unexpected value between professionals once they get involved. She works hard to positions herself to enjoy rewards that result directly from her actions and relationships. So, how do mere mortals get these skills?
Do The Job
Between making connections and contributing resources, great networkers fundamentally deliver solutions. As business professionals, they realize that work is necessary to create value. Furthermore, they understand that great work results from great preparation. Somebody has to get the job done! Results matter. They simply focus on doing it first. Preparation means that they contribute insight in carefully targeted situations. They know their niche. Besides understanding exactly what happened regarding the latest industry intelligence, they focus on who made it happen.
Additionally, the job involves intimately knowing the competitive landscape. Then, they insert themselves by congratulating, influencing, and endorsing colleagues and customers at every opportunity. Opportunity does not magically find great networkers. Opportunities follow bread crumbs that savvy professionals drop at every occasion. Considering that business development professionals are responsible for securing revenue, the most prosperous ones participate across the value chain. They personally know about sources, raw goods, distributors, and buyers within their industry. Doing the job at this level clearly requires extra work. It then delivers extra rewards!
Tell The Story
To apply such expertise to so many stakeholders, master networkers always communicate effectively and efficiently. Storytelling is their weapon to communicate facts and emotions to audiences that matter most. Consequently, the superior networker pays enormous attention to detail. These details have to reach other influencers who facilitate transactions. Consequently, their self-promotion, referral promotion, and industry promotion create a rising tide that lifts many boats.
A master networker tells stories that are well received and circulated, because he includes multiple characters who have individual incentives to share the story. Great stories benefit from invested audiences! When more people both participate and circulate the story, greater reach and more valuable results happen. Networkers who excel in creating value maximize success because they continuously include advocates and beneficiaries. The best way to create enormous value is to be sure that enough people benefit from transactions reputationally or financially. Get the audience participating in the story!
This network is hard work. You schmooze, you lose! However, professionals who lock in on delivering tangible results create opportunities to continue building rewards. Reputational growth equates to stronger personal branding, and consequently more opportunities for success. Assist in building other individual’s professional reputations. Give credit liberally. The contacts that benefit from the relationship know who really was responsible. Then, encourage them to join and contribute to the next big deal as an insider!
By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC