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.