In order to be truly successful at networking it is absolutely critical that you keep your promises – be sure to do what you say you will do. Few things can be more damaging to your credibility as a reliable networker than failing to keep your word. Make 2016 your best year yet! If you say you will ring someone after a networking event – do so. If you tell someone you have a very good contact that you can pass on – pass it on. If you tell someone you have a lead – make sure it’s a genuine one.
So much of your success as a networker relies on a person’s positive impression of you. Do you look professional? Do you sound credible? Are you personable and easy to speak with? Do you keep your word? Not following through on things you have said you would do gives the impression that you don’t value the potential worth of the contacts you make. At the very least it implies that you are unorganised, forgetful and untrustworthy – not qualities that someone wants in a person they may do business with.
If you have trouble remembering who you said you would contact, or remembering what possible opportunities you spoke about with whom – jot some notes on the back of their business card. Everyone leaves with a pocketful of business cards from a networking event, and it can be difficult to match up a card with your memories of who you spoke to about what. Keeping notes on the back of a business card helps to make sure you don’t forget.
One of the worst mistakes you can make at a networking event is to dismiss someone out of hand because you don’t think they could be of value to your business. Sometimes, they themselves may not be a relevant or appropriate contact for your business. However, how do you know who they might know? They might be having lunch with your ideal prospect that afternoon because they’ve been friends for years. You just can’t be sure, so never dismiss anyone off-hand. Besides, people will appreciate your professionalism.
Following through and delivering what you say you will are crucial to build credibility and trust as a successful networker. If you expect people to keep you in mind when they identify possible opportunities or qualified leads then you must be able to demonstrate professional and trustworthy conduct. Putting someone’s details in front of a contact or client is a demonstration of faith – they are trusting you to be professional and not reflect poorly on their sense of judgement.
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