Become an Information Exchange

Networking involves constant interaction with people from all walks of life and, if you keep your ears open, you can learn a heck of a lot.

And, guess what?  Knowing a heck of a lot makes you smarter.  Guess what’s even better?  Being able to communicate what you know and using it to help people get what they need makes you a valuable contact and a master networker.  It makes you an information exchange.

Start by listening to everything. Train yourself to listen to conversations you might ordinarily tune out, and to evaluate every issue you hear with an eye to how it fits into the pool of talent, expertise and resources your network represents.

One way to enhance this skill is to write down a list of your networking contacts and their products, services and special capabilities. Read the list every day, keep it up to date and respond quickly when something you hear connects up with something else on the list.

Learn as much as you can about the special terminologies of your contacts’ businesses. When you’re referring someone with a problem to someone with a possible solution, it adds to your effectiveness and credibility to speak the language of both.  It also helps you recognize the connection.

Last but not least, always follow these tips when communicating information to those in your network:

  • Speak simply, clearly and  in plain language whenever possible.
  • Keep the message short and relevant.
  • End with your offer to help.

4 thoughts on “Become an Information Exchange

  1. In my course of work, I constantly see that most people and at time myself facing the challenge of
    1. delivering information instead of noise
    2. being overwhelmed by information overload
    3. conveying in simple, short and relevant messages

    BNI’s 60 seconds Sales Manager Minutes every working Friday and the 140 characters limit by Twitter has helped me to keep myself in check.

    As for the “offer to help”, I am not sure if it is an Asian or universal culture but I don’t see that coming from anyone except from those fellow or ex-members of BNI who believe in the “Givers Gain” philosophy.

    Ang Ah Sin
    Raffles Chapter
    Far East Region
    BNI Singapore

  2. It is so much fun listening to someone share their story, paraphrasing their “ask” – and asking for permission to help through referrals.

    My formal training through BNI really shines when I work through the process with the uninitiated, and makes me look like a star as well.

  3. Everyone needs help and everyone can use a smile.

    Yes I belong to BNI with it’s “Givers Gain” philosophy and SendOutCards where the theme is “Sending to Give” so you could say I’ve personally had two doses of Kool-aid. Bought the t-shirt AND the hat.

    However, not only is it easy and functional to smile, it works. And helping others in no way implies giving up anything yourself, other than sharing ways that you can help – which sometimes really is just a smile.

    My focus in networking for business is to learn or sense ways to serve others appropriately – appropriate to their needs and desires and to my abilities and resources.

    By focusing on service to others (with a smile) all networking is easier and results happpen. The coolest part is that by being generous and gracious in service to others, you increase your chances of unexpected service from others (not to mention all the free returned smiles). So yeah, Givers Gain. It works, it feels good. Next?

    Bruce Brown
    Quantum Results Coaching
    BNI Business Attractors Chapter, Leland, NC

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