Last week, one of the big items on my calendar of things to do was a marathon day of radio interviews beginning at 4a.m.Â As you can imagine, getting up at an hour when roosters havenât even begun to think about warming up their vocal chords is not the most enticing of tasks.Â However, after stubbing my toe in the pitch blackness and yelping out a word I wonât mention here, I remembered that as the FounderÂ & Chairman of BNI, the worldâs largest business networking organization, I had agreed to do these interviews at such an outrageous hour because it is my responsibility to do whatever needs to be done to network for the organization.
Now, can you imagine what would happen ifÂ I answered the interviewerâs first questionâwhich is always âHow are you doing today, Dr. Misner?â?âby grumbling about how I had stubbed my toe and how I wished I was back in my warm bed?Â Well, what would happen is that people would be immediately turned off by my negative attitude and nobody would listen to me.
This brings me to my point that in order to be a master networker, you must always maintain a positive attitude no matter what.Â With over two decades of professional networking experience, one thing Iâve learned is how important it is to have a positive attitude in order to successfully network.Â And if Iâm going to go around telling other people how to discipline and train themselves to network effectively, then I darn well better be walking the walk (or at least limping along, stubbed toe and all) and maintaining the positive attitude of a master networker.
Now that Iâve told you about the second most important trait of a master networker, I figure might as well give you the other nine.Â Here they are, ranked in order of their perceived importance to networking:
1. Follows up on referrals
2. Positive attitude
5. Good listening skills
6. Networks always
7. Thanks people
8. Enjoys helping
10. Works their network. Â