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Jon Baker

Who Is The Best Networker ...

The hero or the hitman?

Posted on: 02/05/2013   By: Jon Baker

Networking is an important element in the marketing of many firms, this article has 10 tips to improve your networking. Have you seen great networkers ''at work'' and maybe some baddies too? What can you learn from your networking heroes and anti-heroes?

who is the best networker? Bond or Scaramanga? The hero or the hitman?

who is the best networker? Bond or Scaramanga? The hero or the hitman?

Many business owners say they have problems marketing their services. But, stop - How would you market yourself as a hitman? You certainly can't advertise! The answer is in the Bond film "The Man with The Golden Gun"; as the evil Scaramanga has a great network, he gets his business through referrals like many business owners.

"The Man with The Golden Gun" was one of my favourite Bond films; I loved the way the villain constructed his golden gun out of apparently innocuous items. He had what looked like a pen, a cuff link, a lighter and a cigarette case and put them together to form his deadly weapon.

The film is about the duel between Scaramanga and Bond, but who would be the better networker? I know that Bond wins in the film, but he would - he's the goodie!

Traits of a good networker:

  1. Eloquent and clear message: They are both well-spoken and easy to understand. That's a really important point; how many networking meetings have you stood straining to understand what somebody is saying?

  2. Charisma: Both ooze charisma, charming to talk to; but is charisma important? Several networkers have told me that charismatic networkers gets lots of people talking to them, but is that the same as referrals? I've watched several charismatic people have lots of conversations and no referrals. Don't be put off by charismatic people in the room, concentrate on being yourself.

  3. Dress Code: Both well dressed, appropriately for their profession. I suspect that some may prefer one man's style to the others, but their dress code seems similar. No winner yet...

  4. Humour: Both great with one-liners, but this film was panned by the critics because of it's humour. Some Business owners feel nervous networking, as they can't make people laugh. I know several networkers who focus on trying to be funny, rather than getting their message across. Is humour a deception? It's easy to see people laughing at funny 60 second pitches but spending your time creating humour doesn't mean you get referrals. Focus on the main message, the client benefit, not being funny.

  5. Keep in touch: Bond & Scaramanga can turn up anywhere in the world and the right people know them as they keep in touch with their key contacts. How good are you at "KIT", or do you just hope they remember you?

  6. Clear with what you do: There is no doubt about what they do and the referrals they want from their networks. Is it clear, to your network, what referrals you want? I once asked somebody what I did and was shocked by the answer! The fact that they misunderstood me was my fault, not theirs. Ask for feedback, see how clear your message was.

  7. Follow up: How much business would either of them get if they didn't follow up? But how many times have you forgotten, or said to yourself "I'll do it tomorrow"?

  8. Newsletter: One of my pet hates is giving business cards out, then getting deluged with unrequested newsletters. Have you had a newsletter from Bond, or Scaramanga? That's good, nor have I.

  9. Approachable and smile: How many times have you been at meetings where some networkers look like they don't want to be there (and probably don't even like people)? Scaramanga and Bond were always all smiles, are you?

  10. Listen: Have you been in "discussion" and thought the other person was ignoring you? How much did it annoy you? Trouble is, it's easy to be listening when it looks as if you're not. Active listening is certainly worth learning. Both Bond and Scaramanga are good at being seen to listen.

So, who is the better networker? I think they're even but what do you think?

But there is one differentiator though. Good business networking is about focus, not spraying business cards around the room. Scaramanga only ever had one bullet so it made him focus. How can you improve your focus when networking and get better results?

What do you think is the most important element of networking?

Until next time ...


More about Jon Baker ...

After 25 successful years in blue chip companies, Jon left corporate life to focus on the needs of the small business community. Since 2006 he has trained and coached nearly a thousand professionals and business owners, from a wide range of firms.

Jon helps the professionals with 5 to 50 staff improve their performance and grow their firm sustainably and profitably whilst having fun.


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