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Take Inventory

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“To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” ~~ William Shakespeare

It is assessment time.  Inspect what you expect and take action to sharpen your strengths and augment your weaknesses.

Ivan Misner and Don Morgan surveyed more than two thousand business people throughout the US, UK, Canada, and Australia and compiled the results in Masters of Networking.  These are the top ten traits of master networkers.

Do yourself a favor and pull out a sheet of paper.  Number the rows 1 through 10.  Leave a space for the description and run five columns down for your scores.  For each trait below, rate yourself as follows:

  1. Never
  2. Rarely
  3. Sometimes
  4. Usually
  5. Always

Just for breathing you will score ten points.  Therefore, I recommend reading each area and rating yourself conservatively.  The score is entirely private so why not be as brutally honest as you can handle?

1: Follow-up.  Timely follow-up on referrals is the number one trait of master networkers.  This is important on so many levels but let’s consider a fear of loss component.  The more you fail to follow-up the fewer opportunities you will receive.  On the positive side of the equation is that you can follow-up while the opportunity is hot, enhance your referral partner’s reputation, etc.

2: Positive attitude.  Positive attitudes are contagious and people want to associate with you.  Conversely, a consistently negative attitude (no matter how justifiable it is to you) is a deterrent to productive relationships.

3: Enthusiasm and motivation.  These two go well with the positive attitude.  Many sales experts list enthusiasm as the best characteristic to display and we need to sell ourselves to our network.  Enthusiasm does this and translates well to action.

4: Trustworthiness.  In networking your reputation is your currency.  Every transaction carries an implied (or stated) endorsement and you must guard that carefully.  In some settings you are granted trust (certifications, for example.)  In others it is only earned over time.  In all cases it can unravel quickly.  When setting an appointment—show up.  You do not have to be an expert at everything—it is perfectly acceptable to acknowledge that you do not have the answer.  However, if you promise to find one—do so in a timely manner.

5: Good listening skills.  Focus on what the other person is saying rather than simply waiting for them to pause so you can jump in with your own comments.  How well can you tune out the many distractions?  How well do you remember new people’s names?  Assess based on these concepts.

6: Commitment to networking 24/7.  Master networkers are always tuned in to the many ways they can help their referral partners in a Giver’s Gain model—not only at mixers and after hours events but at the gym, in the grocery line, etc.

7: Gratitude.  This can manifest itself in many ways—thank you cards, testimonials, and simple acknowledgement whenever possible.  The more you do this the more chances you will have.

8: Helpfulness.  Master networkers know what help their partners need and actively seek out solutions.

9: Sincerity.  Many of the traits above combine here.  Being grateful and enthusiastic, for example, as well as demonstrating good listening skills.  I like call waiting but never use it as an excuse to switch over from the call I am on.  If ever in a situation where that might happen I let the person know before the chance occurs.

10: Dedicated.  The master networker is dedicated to working their network.  This manifests by having a current, complete database; by carrying their referral partners’ business cards and materials along with their own; and by holding frequent, regular get-togethers for strategy and follow-up.

Trust me; we will revisit these concepts in future posts.  I recommend reviewing the baseline today and setting strategies to improve those areas most in need.  Come back every ninety days and reassess.  When you return consider examples and measurements to deepen your skills, as well.

© 2011 by Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.
All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Stephen Hand of Triangle BNI.

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Written by bniguy

February 13, 2011 at 2:05 am

Posted in business, HowTo, networking

Tagged with ,

6 Responses

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  1. […] talked about ten traits to develop in week seven. The bottom five […]

  2. […] the type of people you want to meet is by becoming one yourself.  Look back into week seven Take Inventory and consider those traits you most want to improve on.  A simple shortcut is to get around those […]

  3. Nice article Steve. I was referred here by your weekly email. I plan on completing the exercise and reviewing every few months as you recommend. There are always areas to improve. Keep the good ideas coming. 🙂 I love that I am a year behind….

    Jerry Bergner

    May 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

  4. […] talked about ten traits to develop in week seven.  The bottom five […]

  5. […] you can consider is the importance of listening.  Since we covered that in detail in week 7 (Take Inventory) I am just going to recommend you review it again before […]

  6. […] you recall Week Seven’s Take Inventory we found that the number one trait of successful networkers is to follow up.  In some cases this […]


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