Networking: The Art of Buying and Selling

Networking is an investment in others, and to do so, you must be the buyer before you are a seller. In a world where everybody is in a frenzy to sell themselves, a person who is a receiver is appreciated. In other words to be a “buyer.” Here are some tips for “buying.”
Repeat their name – When you shake someone’s hand, repeat their name back, “You said your name was Ken? It’s great to meet you!” By repeating their name aloud, it helps you remember it later.
Ask questions that are not really questions– This prevents your sounding like you’re giving the third-degree. To do this, use phrases like, “Tell me more about …”
Don’t interrupt! – People who interrupt appear to have their own agenda- themselves! You may think you have a wonderful add-on to the story but the other person will take it as not caring.
Repeat and agree when you can. – People like people who have similar beliefs and thoughts. For example, you can say: “Yes, that relates to what you said about …, I can see why you have that opinion! I agree!”
Make it a habit! – If you’re going to become the buyer and not just the seller, commit to engaging others into conversations. Word will get out that you are an interesting person to be around and people will seek you out!

Author, Keith Ferrazzi once said, “The currency of real networking is not green but generosity.” Be generous with your time and your ears when networking and the rewards will come!
(From a talk on Networking by Dr. Mimi Hull)

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