Mastering the art of networking

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networking

Jonah Nyoni
MONEY is with people and a great way of getting it is learning how to network. Are you able to initiate a talk with a person you have never met, but could become a possible customer? I am writing this article, while in Europe, Hungary for a LittWorld Conference for Publishers and writers, organised by Media Associates International. Also, Bulawayo has been abuzz because of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. That calls for more than just dishing business cards, but creating genuine and lasting relationships.

Being systematic
One way of growing your network is to have a goal when you are to meet people. Who do you want to meet? Why do you want to meet them? Usually, when you try to sell something to me, there is a greater possibility I will not buy it. Don ot sell me, show me value.

Make the first move
The very fact that you are afraid to talk to people means other people are also insecure about networking with you. You loosen them, the moment you break the ice. People are looking for relatable people.

Be positive
At times we miss the opportunity of striking the best deal by being negative. Think about this; you go to a business gathering and you meet this person who is not dressed for the occasion, and not well combed.

The mistake you could make is to assume that they might not have money or what you need. Do not take people for granted, stop presuming people you do not know. Gold is always covered in
rubble.

Elicit to know more
Don’t try hard to impress them, try to know more about them. Learn to give first before you ask something from them. The best you can do is not to talk about yourself but be a creative broker to make them talk about themselves.

Remember, it is not mainly about you to the other person, but them talking about themselves. Human beings are happy to talk about themselves. Learn to ask great questions.

The magic move
Learn to listen and learn the magic of creating a real conversation. At times it does not take talking about business, but the ability to pick the vibrations of the other person and connect correctly.

My friends always ask how I am able to meet famous and influential people; the magic is in learning human behaviour and being able to respond to their emotions.

That is at times called emotional intelligence. The second magic is to be bold. Just like proposing to a girl you love, make that move.

Be willing to help and ask for help
Be willing to volunteer and help people. By helping others you bring value to the table. Also, know to simplify your request. The funny part about my life is that there are instances when I ask for what I want just straight out. It could be a job. You won’t believe this, I can talk to someone and when we start to gel, I say: “Mr Greg, I am a speaker, and I am looking for an opportunity to add value to your team, and in turn give me value for my service.” This is how I have secured speaking
gigs.

Get off your gadget
At times as we talk to people, we are tempted to be on our phone. To me that might mean, what is on the phone is more important than me. Give them undivided attention. Social media might be screaming for our attention, but remember you have to do
business.