The Art of Networking

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Home > Articles > The Art of Networking

 The Art of Networking

Geoffrey Moss | General
April 20, 2018
​A clever person knows everything, a wise one knows everybody.

I ONCE met Mrs Barbara Bush, it was under unusual circumstances. I was introduced to her at a meeting in Tokyo. The next morning I chatted to her while waiting in a cornflake queue at our hotel. "How did you sleep last night Mrs Bush?" I asked. "Not very well", she replied. "I am getting too old for all this traveling these days."

I was sorry to hear of the death of Mrs Bush, both the wife and mother of Presidents' of the United States. And you know the old saying, "Behind every great man is a good woman - and a surprised mother-in-law."

Like many of us we owe a great debt to our partners. I understand one of Mrs Bush's skills was to keep records with the names and details of the people former President George Bush was to meet. This was a key element to his early success in politics.

Networking is essentially the interaction with others to develop business or social contacts. In today's business world, it is often not what you know but who you know that counts the most. 

Join Groups that Interest You
There are three main types of grouping:
The professional-and business-type groups - professional societies,
The hobby, sporting, educational and religious types of grouping, and 
The Internet connecting like-minded people worldwide.
Join groups that appeal to you and make an effort to contribute to the group. Enhance your life with friends and contacts.

Get Known by Making a Contribution
Join in activities and help organise events. Take office. Contribute to the group and gain respect. 

Go out of your way to help others. Generosity is an attractive quality and it is something that people will remember about you.  

Move around at social events and talk to many people. Show you are interested in others and ask open-ended questions. "How is your family doing?" "Where did you grow up?" "How can I help you?"

Make an effort to improve your listening skills. Don't talk too much. Be a good listener. 

Follow up Fast
If you say you will do something to help someone, do it as soon as it is practicable. 

Respond to any referrals you are given as soon as you can. Keep in touch with the contact who has provided the referral and let them know how the new connections are going. They will feel grateful their contacts were useful and admire you for seizing the opportunity. 

Keep Records 
Collect and file business cards or use an electronic filing system device. You must be able to make contact quickly if and when required. Keeping a diary can be a valuable tool and can bring you rewards when you need names, dates, and specific details. Jot down notes about people so you can quickly establish a rapport with them the next time you meet. "Keen on sport." Has a family of three boys." "Born in Australia."

Meet Regularly
Groups should meet on a regular basis to reinforce contacts and to refresh relationships. 

Business networking is successful when groups of like-minded business people recognise, create, and act upon opportunities and go out of their way to help each other.  

Fortify your life with friends and contacts as who you know can be as important as what you know. A clever person knows everything, a wise one—everybody.

Mr Geoffrey Moss has conducted 31 workshops at SIM and in a dozen Asian and Pacific countries attended by over 2,500 people. He is the author of Secrets for New Managers first published by Moss Associates Ltd., New Zealand and Cengage Learning Asia, Singapore. The book contains many articles published by SIM in Today's Manager and is also available as an E-book from and from the VitalSource Bookshelf.

Copyright © 2018 Singapore Institute of Management

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