How to Network

Networking is a very important skill, in business and in life in general. Tom Wood from Mastery Television sheds a different kind of light on “how to network”:

Most people who call themselves ‘networkers’ actually do it completely wrong. They think the key to networking is to use your contacts to get what you want, but that’s not it at all. It is about using your contacts to help them get what they want!

“What?” people will say, “I can’t help everybody to get what they want! I don’t have all the skills nor the time!”

A good networker is one who sees it as his job to match people together, find commonalities, and put people together with others that can help them. You want to be the “go-to” person when somebody has a problem because once you help enough people the magic starts to happen. You’ll see – the second you ask somebody if you can help them, they want to return a favor and will ask you if they can help you. Now you start to network!

Here is how I network – I will introduce myself and say “Hi, I’m Tom.” After the other person introduces himself I’ll say “What do you do, John, and how can I help you?“  Some people make look at this a bit strange, but the key is to get them to talk about themselves and for you to give respect and be responsive when they talk. Be interested in them. Your interest in them and their problems and your ability to solve these problems will make them 10 times more likely to want to help you in the future. So always say: “How do you do and how can I help you?”

(Tom Wood, Mastery Television, YouTube)

I know that this is ‘easier said than done’, I mean to offer help without being asked for, but still it is interesting food for thought. The presentation ends with a compelling story about a service provider, a great networker, who takes the idea of service and rapport ability to a new level. But why do I need an external example that I have my own one – Mr. Eli Samocha, my loyal taxi driver.
Eli Samocah is a big guy, so is his cab and so is his service and his attention to his clients.  I have known him for more than 5 years and I’ll not use anyone but him. Whenever I’ll ask for his services, he will always be in front of my house a few minutes earlier, his Mercedes is always shiny, and a big welcome smile on his face. His white shirt is always neatly ironed; sometimes he  will pamper me and wear a tie – he knows about my affection for ties – and he’s always clean-shaven. He will bend down to give me a big hug and immediately ask about my wife and kids, knowing all of them by names since they use him as well. In the car he will then put on a CD with the soft music that I like, he will offer me my favorite cinnamon candies and will never forget to ask about the details of my return flight. I just have to say where I’m returning from and when, and he automatically knows the flight number and landing time. In cases where he misses, I gained a discount on the regular fare. 

Upon my return date my cell phone will ring, doesn’t matter where I am on the globe, and Eli will be on the line. “Fly safely’” he will say in his hoarse voice, “I’ll be waiting for you at exit gate 23, as usual.”

This is Eli Samocha, second to none in service and rapport and an excellent networker. Employees from Hi-Tech companies that he is working with title him “Vice President Transportation” as an expression of recognition to his identification with their corporations.

And I thought to myself – we all have our own Eli Samocha, be it our taxi driver, barber or local shopkeeper. So let us just appreciate the service… learn from them…. and become good networkers…

So remember – “Hi, I’m Shuka. How can I help you?”

 I attach Eli Samocha’s picture below.

Fireworks (55)
Shuka, Thursday, April 22, 2010

 

Eli Samocha

 

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