The importance of listening to build relationships and how to ask intelligent questions that aren’t just about opening doors to talk about yourself.
What is fascinating to me when I watch a lot of people in business attempt to build relationships and build their networks is that they need their voice to be the loudest in the room. They spend their time telling everyone why their business is so great, and why they are the best fit for their clients.
However, we all know that the best way to make friends is to ask people about themselves. When you are networking it’s important to have an understanding of how relationships are formed and developed over time. You can’t just cut straight to the chase.
Getting to know people matters. In order to build relationships, you need to have real conversations with people about what their goals, achievements, interests, networks, and skills are. This is something that BNI does really well. There is something called a gains exchange that teaches you how to ask those questions effectively.
It’s also not rocket science. What happens when you get people to talk about their dreams? Energetically, they light up, their eyes get brighter, their body language changes, and they get enthusiastic. When you ask them really good questions about their dreams, and they share their thoughts and feelings with you, then you will start building on that relationship.
It is easy to get distracted by all the noise in the business world at large but jump day is your chance to settle in and work on your business and this season on your networks in ways that allow you to make the most of your opportunities today, tomorrow and forever.
IBGR is a global community of commerce committed to your success and our programming is designed to give you the tools and resources as well as the one percenters you might be missing So buckle up because it's time to take an objective look at whether or not you are truly a centre of influence on playing in the outfield.
Show Objectives - The Why
The purpose of today’s show is to give you some insight in to the importance of listening to build relationships and how to ask intelligent questions that aren’t just about opening doors to talk about yourself.
If you’ve ever been trapped with a ‘close talker’ at a networking event, then you know why emotionally intelligent networking is so important.
The reality is that too many people have poor emotional intelligence. In other words, they don’t have a filter. These are the people who are very fixed on their agenda, what they want to achieve, and what’s important about them. However, successful business people are very good listeners, and they’re very good at asking questions. These are essential skills if you want to build relationships.
Understanding emotional intelligence is not something that is taught in business school. We are not taught how to read body language. We are not taught what the person you are trying to engage with is doing that gives you an indication of whether you are getting things wrong in terms of your approach, or if you’re on the money and you should continue on the same track.
Key Issues - Owner Perspective:
What You Need to Know - What we will be covering
Think of networking as the practice of cultivating authentic connections over time. Lead with gratitude and a genuine desire to get to know someone — along with a few handy tips in your pocket — and you’ll be ready to move past handshakes and forge lifelong connections.
If you’re naturally a loud human being, it’s easy to continue being loud. Equally, if you’re naturally quiet and introspective, it’s easy to sit back and let everybody else talk. Neither of those things will get you where you want to go.
You need to understand that everyone around you has something they can teach you. It’s possible that you might not need what they have to teach you for another ten years, but then one day you’ll have a meal-ticket in the form of a fact or a piece of information that you filed away from a conversation that you had with someone way back in the past.
What you need to do today
When you’re networking with very successful people, it’s good to remember that they get asked a lot of the same questions, and many of those questions don’t have a lot of thought behind them. So if you can be the intelligent person that asks the interesting questions and then responds to their answers, you will stand out and they will remember you. Then, when you want to go for a coffee, the chances are that they will say yes, because they know they can have a great conversation with you.
Previous: Episode C4.03
Networking through the generations and what you need to know. - How different generations engage and network and what you need to do to be effective
Next: Episode C4.05
Do you have enough in the favour bank to start making withdrawals. - The importance of earning your stripes and proving your value before you go asking for favours
Written by Simone Douglas
The Publican & Licensee of the Duke of Brunswick Hotel, Executive Director for BNI Adelaide North one of the biggest networking organisations in the world, the driving force behind South Australia’s leading social media agency, Social Media AOK and best-selling author with her first book “Seriously Social – turning your online game into real-world gain”. and “The Confident Networker”
Simone also serves as Deputy President of the State Chapter Committee South Australia for the Franchise Council of Australia and sits on the Franchise Advisory Council for BNI Australia
You can connect with Simone on any of her seriously social platforms
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