The key personality traits of an exceptional networker

One of the challenges in networking is everybody thinks it's making cold calls to strangers. Actually, it's the people who already have strong trust relationships with you, who know you're dedicated, smart, a team player, who can help you.
Reid Hoffman

If you are a business person or have a professional career, then you are a networker, whether you realise it or not. Whilst some struggle with networking and have to learn and practice the art, others find it a completely natural thing to do and excel at it effortlessly. Since 85% of jobs are filled via networking, isn’t it time you know more?  

So what makes those exceptional networkers so good at it? Is it an inherited trait? Have they been to a great networking course? Has their employer trained them?  

To truly master networking yourself, it helps to take a close look at those who do it well and adapt/ apply where you can. Here’s what they are good at: 

They’re savvy, and know who they need to know

Networking is about forming the right relationships. Throughout your career you will meet a lot of people. The people you invest in and maintain relationships with need to align with your ambitions and have the expertise and experience to be able to help you with your goals.  

They’re enthusiastic

They have a true passion and belief in what they do, so when they present to a room or speak about their work - they are genuine.  

They’re interested

They have a sincere interest in you and what you do. They’re not always just seeing how you can help them and what they can get out of you. It’s a two way street, and exceptional networkers love to give as much as they receive.  

They can listen

Great networking is not just about your 30-second sales spiel. Yes, a good networker will tell you about their work. But they will also take the time to keep quiet and listen in return. 

They give good referrals

One of the great things about having a strategic network of contacts is that you can refer your connections to others. Believe it or not, this has many benefits for you! Your connections will mention you when they get in touch with each other, and will keep you in mind to return the favour when another referral opportunity arises.  

Most of all, an exceptional networker is good at it because they do it a lot. Practice really does make perfect in the world of networking. If you need some help, consider Enrolling in one of our courses today to learn the art of networking and see for yourself how to do it like the pros.  

Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au

Posted on June 28, 2017 .

Keeping Your Eye On The Prize: How To Network Your Way To A Better Job

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it.
Steve Jobs

Ask ten people how they got the job they have and I bet they will tell you it was through someone they know! Networking is by far one of the best ways to further your career and get a better job. It reveals more opportunities and more possibilities, and in some cases, allows you to invent your own perfect position description.
 
By using networking as a tool to secure a new position, you’ve got a much better chance of getting what you want. This is because:
 

  • Most jobs come from the hidden job market – up to 80% actually!
  • Employers like to hire someone they already know and trust, or who has been recommended by another person they trust.
  • Employers prefer to avoid having to advertise. This takes time and resources, and they end up with a pile of applicants they have to sift through. If they can hire via networking it saves them a great deal of time, money and effort.
  • Without a formal advertising process, you’ll be up against significantly less competition for the position.

So, what are the best ways to approach networking when your goal is a better job? 

1. Make networking a habit – Keep up your conversations and connections as you need to have strong relationships before seeking anything.

2. Assess your current network. You’ll be amazed at how many people you already know in your network. Reach out to them and explain exactly what you’re looking for. Ask them if they have any information about upcoming opportunities or if they know of someone else you can contact. You never know where this simple act may lead. 

3. Ask for help, not a job. When you ask someone straight up for a job it can be confronting and can make them feel like they’re being ambushed. Instead, ask for some advice. Ask them for a good starting place, or how you can get a foot in the door somewhere. With a gentle approach they will be more forthcoming with help. 

4. Be specific. Know exactly what you’re looking for. When you ask specific questions, you’ll find specific answers, in the same way that vague questions will result in a vague answer. Do you want a referral? To be introduced to someone? Some work experience? A friendly chat with an insider? Know what you want and ask for it. 

5. Follow up. This links to step 1, so be sure to maintain contact with your connections and follow up. If nothing eventuates from your efforts this time, try again in 3 months time when circumstances might have changed. 

Networking and building relationships is the fastest and easiest way to further your career and reach your goals. Learn this and other networking skills from an industry expert and enroll in our Business Networking Workshop today.
 
Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au
 

The Importance Of Staying Top Of Mind To Your Contacts (And How To Do It)

This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.
Alice Waters

When you’ve put in the hard work to meet and gain new contacts through your networking, it can be easy to get complacent and think your work is done. You have their contact details and they have yours, and they’ve expressed some interest in your skills.

They’ll call you if they want you, right?

Wrong. It can be very easy for people to forget about you. You need to stay relevant to your connections so you’re the first name they think of when they need to hire or make a recommendation. A follow up email after meeting them just won’t cut it.

Here are some ways you can stay top of mind to your contacts.

1)    Keep track of your contacts and engage with them. This means actually doing something with that spreadsheet of names and numbers you have! There are many apps available (such as Contactually and Hubspot) that help you organise your contacts, deliver relevant content to them and remind you to be more active with certain people.

2)    Remind people that you exist. A great way to do this is to regularly (not just once or twice a year) publish relevant and valuable content on LinkedIn. When you do this, everyone you’re connected with receives a notification that you’ve published something. They see your name and are reminded that you’re out there.

3)    Mix it up. A regular blog once a month is great, but it can become stale and repetitive. Try mixing up the formats and the frequencies you use to stay in touch with people. You’ll capture a wider audience and cater to the different preferences of your contacts. Some love to read, so a newsletter is great. Others prefer to watch or listen, so a video or podcast would be a winner here.

4)    Keep it personal. If you know your contacts birthday, send them a card to wish them a happy birthday. If they’ve just had a baby, congratulate them. Remembering details outside of business keeps the relationship genuine.

When you have the right tools to stay organised and the right processes in place, it can be easy to stay top of mind. That way, when the time comes and they need someone just like you, you’re the one they actually contact. 

For more insider tips on how to improve your networking skills, enrol in one of our Business Networking Skills workshops today.

Happy Netships!
Julia

Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au

Networking and interpersonal skills: How are the two related?

The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.
Tony Robbins

To be successful in your career or in business these days is becoming increasingly more of a challenge.

Businesses have changed considerably, and global expansion has created large multinational companies that often have a matrix management system rather than a traditional tiered hierarchy of management. Products now come to the market faster, industries are expanding and partnerships are more common.
 
All this means it’s more important than ever for those wanting to advance their careers to have the ability to create meaningful professional relationships. Digital methods of communication will only take you so far. In the end, it all comes down to your ability to create a professional network and build trust within those relationships.
 
To do this, you must have well developed interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are the life skills we use every day when we communicate with others. It’s what we say, how we say it, our body language and our ability to read body language in others.
 
Interpersonal skills are a mixture of three key areas of talent:

  1. Leadership – your ability to make decisions, delegate work, motivate others and mentor others

  2. Networking – how you communicate, your ability to build a network and your self confidence

  3. Teamwork – how you work with others, collaborate, delegate and participate in group work

All three areas and the abilities you have within them are what make up your interpersonal skills.
 
The great news is – you already have interpersonal skills. They are skills we develop subconsciously during childhood, and stem from the way we make friends, talk to others, ask for what we want and help others in need.
 
Refining and enhancing your interpersonal skills is essential for any kind of professional success. It’s important that you learn to listen, become aware of the way you speak to others, understand where you might be going wrong with your communication and remember the importance of non-verbal communication.
 
Improving your interpersonal skills will ultimately improve your ability to create professional networks and relationships, and will fast track you to career success. Networking is a learned behaviour, so take a look at our Corporate Training programs to find the course that best suits your needs.  Or consider a Lunch & Learn session for your team here.

Happy Netships!
Julia

Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au

Posted on April 27, 2017 .

How to build a powerful network of teams

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other"  Abraham Lincoln

The organisational structure of modern day companies has changed considerably over the last decade. I have been teaching networking and relationship management skills since 2005 and my clients are increasingly being forced to move more rapidly, adapt more quickly and evolve at a faster rate than ever, and if they can’t do this, they are being left behind.  

One of the most important changes being seen in this organisational shuffle is the demise of the standard company hierarchy and the rise of networks of teams. Instead of a company being led by a CEO, supported by a General Manager and having tiers of managers and employee levels below that, we’re now seeing networks of teams who work together more cohesively.  

By working in teams, individual and team goals can be shared for everyone to see, and accountability becomes more apparent. This sense of accountability is a huge step away from the “I’m just doing it because my manager told me to” way of thinking, and is critical for team and corporate effectiveness.

How can you build a powerful network of teams in your organisation?

1.     Embrace change. If you have inefficient systems and processes in place simply “because we’ve always done it that way”, you might as well close your business now. The digital demands of consumers in 2017 mean that you must transform and change to remain current.

2.     Shuffle your talent. When you place your managers and employees in different projects and ask them to perform different functions, they become more agile and more valuable.

3.     Create a performance group. Ask the group to study and analyse other high performing teams. By examining their titles, reward system and career paths, you can introduce new concepts into your organisation.

4.     Go digital. Take a look at some of the commonly used communication methods businesses use for their employees to share information. Software like Basecamp, Podio, Zoom, Trello and Asana can improve productivity and can be more efficient than the standard, slow methods of communication such as email.

5.     Give feedback. Regular feedback to your employees with rewards and recognition has so many benefits. Employees feel empowered, motivated and are more likely to set goals and achieve more. They feel valued and this will be reflected in increased productivity.

Working in teams cohesively is going to feature more prominently in businesses of the future, and leading organisations will make it easier for employees to build their careers and have more job satisfaction. It’s exciting to think about what the future may hold.

Keep up with modern day changes to business by building a powerful network of teams in your company.  Learn more about the Lunch & Learn sessions for your team here.

Julia Palmer, a respected Networking Strategist and Chief Executive of the Business Networking Academy, presenting and training on how to create and manage networks that work. To learn more visit www.juliapalmer.com & www.BusinessNetworkingAcademy.com.au

 

Posted on April 20, 2017 .