“When it comes to business networking, you never know who people know. One of the important keys to being successful at building a powerful personal network is diversity”. These opinion is given by the world`s most recognised “networking expert”, Mr Ivan Misner The Founder of Business Network International.
People by nature cling to those who are similar, hence in business networking, most people would be inclined to network with people who aim for similar clients. Although it is good to include these people in your personal network, networking with them exclusively would be a big mistake. This is because when we surround ourselves with people who have similar contacts it may be difficult to make connections with new people or companies with whom we desire to do business. Thus the best results are when we diversify our activity and connections. Here is a little suggestion, next time you go to your networking event, talk to the staff member of the hotel you network at, or whatever venue there is, ask them what did they do, who was the most significant client they met. In the days I networked regularly, I took time to speak to every staff member I could, while many others just ignored them. One of the staff members provided me with a valuable contact that turned into a client. People prejudge others by thinking that if their current job is in their view not significant they will ignore them, here is a great story from my past networking. The group I was looking after had a Gas Engineer as its member. To some members he was only a Plumber, and not many of the other members wanted to have an individual meeting with him thinking that Ken would have connections that were good for other trades. Yet, Ken the Plumber, had a contact list so diverse that was mind blowing. When I mentioned this to one other member, he was kicking himself for not taking time to meet Ken individually.
For me, networking with people from all sorts of levels is highly rewarding, one of the networking events I go to on regular basis is Curry On Business event organised by Sterling Finance. This is where I have met some of the best people in a variety of categories, some of which are now my clients, or pointed me to new connections.
In conclusion, allow me to bring this great advice from the Man himself, Dr Ivan Misner. “If you wish to build a powerful personal network – branch out. Build a diverse network of professional contacts that include people that don’t look like you, sound like you, speak like you, or have your background, education, or history. The only thing that they should have in common with you and the other people in your network – is that they should be really good at what they do. Create a personal network like that, and you’ll have a network that can help you succeed at anything.”
As for me personally, speak to as many people as you can, do not prejudge, learn about them, and take account of their circle of contacts. You never know whom they have got in their circle of connections. It might well be someone you have searched for a long time. Don`t miss an opportunity by prejudging others.
To your success!
Personal & Business Coach
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