Over the course of your career you will meet many people. Some of them will have a positive and enormous effect on your career and your business and others not so much. It will be nearly impossible to foresee who those people will be. What is most important is to know how to develop, manage, and nurture business relationships – your network. Being or becoming comfortable meeting new people is a skill that you must master in order to succeed.
Here are some critical elements that will bolster your relationship success:
- Your personality brought about by your EQ (your EQ manages mutual trust and chemistry between you and others)
- Your current power base (your existing network)
- Your current and future skills (your potential)
- Identifying what the other person can get out of the relationship (it’s not all about you)
The big question is whether you inspire confidence in others. Their trust depends on what they know about you and your life. What personal history are you willing to share? What questions do you ask to help others open up to you and talk about what lies in their hearts? You can measure the strength of a relationship based on the number of times you have come to an agreement with each other, the number of personal stories involving each other, and how familiar you have become and will remain over time with each other.
Networking involves value-based relationship selling
If you want to get results, you must be good at selling yourself. Do you have a great idea, one key issue, or do you just want to be an employee in a business? Whatever the situation, you must learn to sell and learn how to listen to people and help them. If you are interested they will find you interesting.
I call this value-based relationship selling (you sell yourself, your ideas, and your key issues). Think of this as trading knowledge and skills. You are a merchant, and others can buy from you or from the competition.
If you want to accomplish something in your career, you must communicate clearly so that people understand and remember you.
Consider the following statements. How many can you answer YES to?
- Do you leave an impression on other people, or do they easily forget you shortly after they meet you?
- Do people contact you, or are you the one often putting the effort into a relationship?
- When people see you, do they smile and greet you, or do they barely look at you?
- Do people remember your name?
- Do people remember what you said when you were last together?
- Do people trust or distrust you?
- Do other people recommend you to people in their network?
- Are you invited to join exciting tasks, meetings, and events?
How well you develop and maintain a network of colleagues, industry professionals, advisors, and customers is a determining factor of how successful you will be throughout your career. Get started early in your career developing and improving your networking skills.
Soulaima Gourani is a seasoned global business woman, corporate counselor and author. There is a lot to be said about Soulaima Gourani and her many experiences. Today, Soulaima Gourani exploits her vast knowledge and experience as an adviser and speaker for some of the world’s most innovative companies, when they seek inspiration and motivation. She is also author and contributing author to a number of books. Read her interview on LadyBossBlogger here.