Networking and how to master the art!


Zig Ziglar’s shares the obvious, but important to be reminded, and perhaps not reminded enough, regarding the necessity of being a King or Queen networker.

Dress to be the best:

Zig talks about how dress has become so casual that business owners are starting to underestimate the importance of it.  In Southern California I find it fairly rare that people wear ties, however, I do wear a good suit or sport coat when meeting with executives and important decision makers, especially for the first time.

Business cards:

Always have them, ready to go along with brochures.  I do this out of habit, whether I’m at lunch or during an evening social event.  Inevitably someone will ask for your card or ask what you do.  If you have a business card and brochure, at the ready, your potential client or business partner will be even more impressed.

Negative conversations:

Yes, avoid them at all costs.  In a relatively negative world, people want to hear things that make them happy.  Positive and uplifting comments or what I like to call my “dark humor” goes a long way.  If I’m thinking something negative I turn it into a joke or a witty comment to make the person laugh.  It’s just common sense.  Any person, that includes a customer or business partner, will want to see you more if you make them laugh, make them feel comfortable or at ease, and are helpful towards their mission.

Body language: 

Smile, nod, and act appreciative.  People want to talk about themselves.  Customers with big budgets don’t care about you or what you have to say about yourself because they already have a million vendors trying to convince them to buy and do what they want.  So, give it a rest.  Listen to them, their lives, their concerns, and their work challenges.  Problem solvers and listeners get paid.  If you are talking over someone, speaking one-uppers, and trying to convince someone your point of view is more correct then you should consider getting out of sales.

Following up – the little things that go a long way: 

Hand written thank you cards with a personal note.   I continue to try to do this on a regular basis, but given the high tech age with social media, email, texts, twitter, and more, a good old fashioned hand written note goes a long way!

Tony Bilby