Steps to Networking – Step 22: Observe and file

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 4th, 2010

STEP 22: Observe and file

As you learn to focus, teach yourself to become more observant. Push yourself to look closely, listen and be more precise. Top networkers are keenly observant and are wonderful listeners. They pay close attention to what they see and what is said. They ask questions and make concerted efforts to get names and facts right.

With names and facts learn to always be precise.

• Ask for the correct spelling of every name, even those that are common. When you’re given a name, the best approach is to ask, “How do you spell that?” Then write it down and repeat the spelling aloud.
• Double or triple check all numbers including telephone numbers, addresses, statistics and especially monetary amounts. When leaving you phone number or email address with voice mail or a message taker, clearly recite the number/address twice.
• When you give any contact information over the phone, be clear and precise. If you have a name or address that is difficult to pronounce or spell, find a way to articulate it clearly. If you say “A as in ____” select an example that is unusual like “alligator or artichoke,” not a more common work that is more likely to be confused
• Add a signature file at the bottom of each email that sets forth your name and contact information. You can also add a business slogan or message to your signature file.

Successful networkers are attentive, ask meaningful questions and seldom interrupt. They let the conversation center around the other person and don’t try to steer it in other directions. Networkers know and capitalize on the fact that most of us feel more comfortable speaking with to those who give us their full attention.

When accomplished networkers receive new information, the wheels immediately start turning. Automatically, they mentally catalog every name, every story, every event and every statistic. Then they instinctively scan their list of contacts for possible links. Occasionally, obvious connections leap out, but most of the time, the new data is simply noted and placed on hold for future use.

While they are taking in and connecting information, savvy networkers continue to look you straight in the eye, listening attentively and asking good questions. It’s not that they’re insincere or manipulative; it’s just highly refined multi-tasking, the art of doing several things simultaneously and doing them well.

(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)

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