The more people you meet at an event, the more successful your networking efforts are–and that’s simply not the case. Instead, the quality of the connections you form is much more significant than the quantity of connections you make.
Networking is not a numbers game. It’s more like a people puzzle. It’s about building relationships with the close people in your network. That means that it’s about finding ways to interconnect the relationships you have to build a powerful personal network. In order to do that – you actually have to have a fair number of quality relationships in that sea of contacts.
If your network is a mile wide and an inch deep, it will never be successful.
Instead, your network needs to be both wide and – in places, deep. That is, you need to have a wide set of contacts but some of those need to be connections that go deep. Therefore, the quality of your network is just as important, if not more important than the quantity of your network. This doesn’t mean that quantity isn’t important. It is important. The thing is that a small network of quality people limits your success. However, a large network with multiple quality relationships makes for a much more powerful, personal network.
It is a little like your left hand and your right hand. Both are really important. But one is generally stronger, more powerful, and generally used more than the other. You can’t accomplish what you want as easily without both. However, one is the stronger hand. This is similar to the quantity vs. quality argument in networking.
Click here to listen to a personal story about this comparison
I believe that it is NOT, what you know, or who you know – it’s how well you know each other that counts.
Strong relationships take simple “contacts” and turn them into powerful “connections.” It doesn’t really matter if I have an amazing database of people with many phone numbers. What really matters is if I can pick up the phone and ask some of them for a favor and they take my call then are willing to do that favor.
In this video, I share a story about a referral coincidence.
A misconception occurs when someone focuses on the referral rather than on the relationship that produced the referral. Understand the process of building relationships. It’s not the number of contacts you make that’s important, but the ones that you turn into lasting relationships. You’ll always get better results trying to deepen relationships with people you already know than starting relationships with strangers.
Luck is where persistence meets opportunity.
Networking is not about luck, it’s about relationships. No one person is likely to turn your business around, but together, over a long time, they can make a difference.
If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you know how challenging it can be to find the path towards leadership that works for you. If you find yourself wondering how to become a leader in business, follow these steps:
1. Focus on solutions, not problems
2. Collaborate with your team
3. Be a culture champion
4. Care about the success of others–REALLY care!
Finally, leadership is about accomplishing more than people thought possible. In your business, what are your wildest dreams? What’s your ultimate goal? Never lose that idea and constantly be working towards it.
Watch the video to hear more about the four steps towards becoming a business leader, and leave me a comment on what YOU think makes a leader.
The 30-Day “No Complaining Challenge” is a great way to reset your perspective. The idea is a commitment to refrain from complaining. blaming, and justifying for 30 straight days. If you slip up, restart at Day 1. It may sound simple, but it is definitely not easy. Deb Cheslow has issued this challenge to literally thousands – maybe tens of thousands – of people and she can count on one hand the number of them who actually made it through the entire 30 days.
Beth and I took the “No Complaining Challenge” back in 2012 and it completely changed our lives.
Who wants to join me in making the world a better place?
Would you be up to creating a better positive life while eliminating some of the negative as well?
WHO: When you were growing up, did you have an adult (teacher, coach, mentor, NOT immediate family) who significantly influenced your life? Then, we at the BNI Foundation want to hear from YOU!
WHY: We want you to share your story with us so we can share it with the world so people will see and hear the huge impact that adults can have on kids!
WHAT: So, tell us in a 1 minute or less video, about the person who inspired you, possibly even changed the trajectory of your life when you were between age 6 and graduating from high school. We especially welcome stories in which a small gesture or action made a big difference, showing how easy it can be to help our youth, without always spending a ton of time over many years. It does NOT need to be professionally filmed or edited. Just grab your phone and press record.
What is the least important characteristic for a great networker?
The answer might surprise you.
In this video, I share the five least important skills for networking according to a survey of 3400 business people. Knowing what not to do can be as important as knowing what to do. Furthermore, it is also clear from these results that great networkers and great salespeople have different skill sets.
In conclusion, many people think you need to be an extrovert to be a good networker, but that’s not what the survey says. Here are five least important skills for networking.
Recently, I took the opportunity to gather almost 3,400 survey responses from business people around the world. I gave them a list of almost 20 different characteristics on networking and I asked them to pick the top behaviors they’d like to see in a great networker. From those responses, I have identified the top characteristics of what people believe makes a great networker and have listed them here in this video.
At the top of the list is being a good listener. Our success in networking depends on how well we can listen and learn. The faster you and your networking partner learn what you need to know about each other, the faster you’ll establish a valuable relationship. A good networker has two ears and one mouth and should use them both proportionately. Listen to people’s needs and concerns and find opportunities to help them. You can’t help others if you don’t know what they need, and you find that out by listening. In many ways, networking is about connecting the dots but to do that you have to listen so that you can help people make the connections they are looking for.
The first thing that people see from you is your attitude, how you take things in general. A consistently negative attitude makes people dislike you and drives away referrals; a positive attitude makes people want to associate and cooperate with you. Positive business professionals are like magnets. Others want to be around them and will send their friends and family to them.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Helping people shows that you care. One survey respondent said that “people want to network with individuals who have a collaborative attitude.” Helping others can be done in a variety of ways. For example, clip a helpful article and email it to someone. Furthermore, put them in touch with a person who can help them with a specific challenge. Several respondents commented about not wanting to network with people who are “in it for themselves.” A willingness to collaborate and help others is essential. It builds trust and helps establish a strong relationship.
You can offer the help, the thanks, the listening ear, but if you are not sincerely interested in the other person, they will know it! Those who have developed successful networking skills convey their sincerity at every turn. One respondent stated that “it’s all about the authenticity” that someone shows you. We have all seen people who are seemingly good at networking but lack sincerity. Faking it isn’t sustainable.
If you offer opportunities, whether a simple piece of information, a special contact, or a qualified business referral, to someone who consistently fails to follow up, you’ll soon stop wasting your time with this person. One respondent said that when it comes to networking, “the fortune lies in the follow up” and many people just “don’t follow up anymore.”
It is very important to be prepared to introduce yourself by breaking down your business into your LCD’s (Lowest Common Denominators). Each week, create a business educational curriculum to train your sales force to focus on just ONE aspect of your business.
For example, each week just focus on:
– A service
– A product
– A benefit
When you want to nail a presentation, start by explaining your lowest common denominators, or the most immediate, universal value of your business. Your LCD is your secret weapon.
Click on the graphic below, or click here, to see this video. Learn more about developing this training approach for your weekly presentations.
Today the BNI Foundation is supporting the National Education Association’s “Read Across America Day”. Therefore, go find a classroom and volunteer to read a Dr. Seuss story to the students. For example, in this video, I share a story about reading to my kids when they were younger, the Dr. Seuss classic, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street“.
Dr. Seuss’s very first book for children!
Originally published: December 21, 1937
From a mere horse and wagon, young Marco concocts a colorful cast of characters, making Mulberry Street the most interesting location in town. Most noteworthy, Dr. Seuss’s signature rhythmic text, combined with his unmistakable illustrations, will appeal to fans of all ages. Finally, who will cheer when our hero proves that a little imagination can go a very long way. Now over eighty years old, this story is as timeless as ever.