If you want to be successful in generating referrals, it is crucial to find out as much as you can about the members of your network. And there are five critical things that you must know if you truly want to be a productive networker. These five things are not mysterious secrets; they are facts we are exposed to every day but often pay little attention to because we are not aware of the benefits we can gain by sharing what I call the G.A.I.N.S. Exchange approach to networking. If you know the categories of the G.A.I.N.S. Exchange and use them effectively, you can strengthen your relationships, build a strong business, and live a better life. Of course, the exchange is a two-way street: Not only should you know these things about others, but you should also share the same type of information about yourself with them.
Goals are the financial, educational, and personal business objectives you want to achieve for yourself and for the people who are important to you. You need to clearly and specifically define your own goals and have a clear picture of the goals of others.
Accomplishments tell you more about a person because people like to talk about the things they are proud of. Therefore, engage others in casual conversations to encourage them to talk about their accomplishments. Sharing your accomplishments with them may lead to mutual interests or connections that can be mutually beneficial.
The things you enjoy doing can help you connect with others because people are more willing to spend time with those who share their interests. Knowing other people’s interests makes it easier for you to help them in some way. Let them know your interests as well. If you and your contact share many of the same interests, it will strengthen your relationship.
Most people have a broad network of individuals they associate with for either business or personal reasons. The question is, how well you know them? The people you know are connected, directly and indirectly, with people you don’t know. Each of us has sources in abundance that we do not effectively cultivate.
The more you know about the talents of the people in your network, the better equipped you are to refer to them when someone you know is looking for someone with that skill. Therefore, identify the special skills you have and share your skills with others to help business relationships grow as well.
The best way to develop a strong relationship with others is by helping them to achieve something important to them. Some of your best insight into others comes from knowing what goals they have, what they have already accomplished, and what they are passionate about. Their passions are their most important interests because they are something they love to do and could do all day long. If you can tap the resources represented by their network of contacts, you can significantly improve your overall networking. The more they know about your skills, the faster your name will come to mind when an opportunity arises in which your own networking might play a part.