As an entrepreneur, if there is one thing that you should focus on, it’s to become a truly skilled business networker. But the truth is that many people struggle with this.
Often called one of the most well-networked individuals in the world, Joe Polish dishes out what it takes to become a truly brilliant business networker.
Tim Ferris, of the iconic Four Hour Workweek, who’s also one of the biggest influencers in modern day business, says, “I’ve seen many people who have good networks, but I’ve never seen a better network than the network that Joe has. Joe is absolutely the best door-opener I’ve ever seen.” Brendon Burchard calls him “the most connected and caring guy in the industry,” while Sir Richard Branson says that “he’s doggedly determined and never gives up and has a big heart.”
Why business networking is so important
Polish is a firm believer in adding lots of value to the world. While most don’t realise it, it’s the world’s most effective communicators who know how to not only use verbal and non-verbal cues to help them understand and dissect others, but also to adhere to certain principles to make rapid progress and build rapport quickly.
Considering that much of the world is out for personal gain, real networking never happens by taking. It happens by giving. And while we could likely list hundreds of reasons why it’s so important to get good at networking in business, there are essentially five core reasons at the heart of it. If you’ve ever had one of those friends who seems to know everyone, then you know the effectiveness in building rapport on a massive scale.
People that are well-networked have access to certain things that most others could only dream about. I’m not just talking about knowing other people. I’m talking about things that are exclusive that often don’t get offered to the public. Meals, entertainment, speaking engagements, meet-ups, trips, private events, movie premiers, restaurant openings and so on.
But its utility extends far beyond the so-called superficial. We’re talking about the underlying ability to move ideas forward by bringing the right people together. Imagine having an idea for a business that’s so wonderful, that you can pick up the phone and call four or five people, quickly turning that idea into a reality.
This extends far beyond the recreational value that comes from knowing so many people. I’m talking about the ability to turn your business network into cold hard cash. Thoughts are most certainly things, but the right thoughts in the right person’s hands can truly make an extraordinary difference.
You can’t do everything on your own: You can’t expect to wear every hat all the time. And if you don’t know the right people you could reach out to, or you don’t understand how to delegate, you could find yourself struggling with your time. Effective networkers know this and take it to heart, doing what they can to collaborate and help others in order to pay it forward.
Increase in referrals and opportunities: Polish says that while you should most certainly approach your business networking with more of a giving attitude, what often happens is that it helps to create more referrals and opportunities in your own business. That’s just the nature of giving without the expectation of getting anything in return.
Helps you build authority and create lasting impact: As you meet more people, and you focus on quality relationships over quantity, you naturally build authority over time. In turn, you create a lasting impact. People remember you as the connector and involve you in a variety of interpersonal relationships, and you likely become the reason for great partnerships forming.
Improves self-worth by learning to help others: Helping others and effectively contributing your time improves your self-worth. You simply feel better at the end of the day, like you made a difference. That comes about by helping others to achieve their goals. In turn, they look to help you when needed.
Develops life-long friendships and bonds: Some of the strongest bonds formed happen in the process of adding value to the lives of others. It says a lot about the type of person who really goes out of their way to assist and alleviate pain or problems in someone else’s life.
How to build rapport
Overall, there are some ways to build what Polish calls, “Magical Rapport”. It’s part of his formula for networking at the highest level. Most of the items in his list make complete sense. Some might go contrary to the way most of the world operates. However, each skill is necessary for the overall formula to work. These ingredients, when properly combined together, will help you achieve explosive results.
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