Listen Up: What is the Most Important Skill in Networking?

When you meet someone for the first time, how much of the talking do you do compared to the other person?

People who say they love being with other people are most likely those who like to do all of the talking. Networking is not about talking. It’s about listening.  This may sound contrary to popular belief, but I feel the key to networking isn’t to make sure the other person knows everything about you, but rather to make sure that you know more about them.  You do this by asking questions and showing interest (sounds easy, right? If it were easy, more people would do it).

You’ll be more likely to be able to develop an on-going relationship with another person if you can find a way to help them instead of thinking how they can help you.  This is particularly important when you’re networking with people of higher caliber then you.   When you help others, you are helping to increase your level of sales motivation. And the only way you can figure out how to help them is to genuinely listen and to resist the urge to interject your comments often than necessary.

So I guess there are TWO important skills in networking… Listening and Helping.  Are you committed to excelling with integrity and passion? I know you are. That being the case, continue to be wise in devoting ample time to listening and helping.

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