Mastering the 3 Characteristics of Networking for Results.

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Most professionals think of networking as a social activity; that it’s simply about meeting others. The truth is that networking is fundamental premise of our society. It’s the process that accelerates careers, builds businesses and drives results. Here are the three fundamental characteristics that all successful people know, use and maximize.

1. Networking for results is relationship-based.  The really smart people know that being successful in business is mostly about relationships. Good salespeople know that selling is a people business, not a product business. Getting ahead in many cases depends as much or more on who you know as what you know. The people we know or can know or will know are one of the most important success factors in business success.
Networking for results is finding, developing and leveraging relationships with key persons who have the ability or willingness to help us achieve our business goals. Developing and managing these important relationships speaks to the reality that we buy people first, ideas second and things last. By focusing our energies, efforts and expectations around maximizing the inter-actions with others who can or will help us achieve our business objectives, we take advantage of one of the most powerful human motivators.

2. Networking for results is developmental.  Consumers and prospects today are informed, educated and fickle. They are bombarded and overwhelmed with information about every new and improved product or service. We have come to recognize that everyone is trying to sell something, especially at a business level. We are closed, cautious and reserved when meeting new business acquaintances. We let down our guard only when we begin to feel comfortable and safe. We want to know that the other person accepts and understands us.
Networking for results is the process of creating and developing trust in relationships using a focused strategy, a specific structure and inter-personal skills.  Unless and until we feel more and more comfortable and trustworthy of another person, we will not open up about issues and opinions that are important to us. Once an appropriate level of trust has been built, we are prepared to share and benefit through a relationship

3. Networking for results is reciprocal.  Each of us has at one time or another been helped by another person. We associate strong feelings with receiving assistance, especially if it is sincere and unselfish. In this world of “me first” and “what’s in it for me?”, when someone goes out of their way to help us, it generates a great sense of comfort and trust. By reversing the usual course of relationships, especially in business, we exponentially raise the other person’s sense of trust.
Networking for results is cultivating the philosophy of developing a relationship by focusing emphasis on the other person’s needs, interests and situation.  One of the strongest feelings we can know is being obligated to another person. The key words here are sincere and unselfish. The principle of reciprocation is one the most powerful tools to help build trust so that others will be more open and receptive to us and our business ideas.

Do you know where you need to improve for more and better networking results? Take the networking skills self-assessment at

Michael Hughes is known as North America’s Networking Guru. To get more info about his services or to have him speak at your next meeting or conference, visit his web site at

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