What’s your networking personality style?
As we’ve alluded to over the past few posts, there are a number of different networking styles. While I’m not generally one to ascribe “right” and “wrong” labels to personalities or behaviors, you may notice that certain personalities and behaviors tend to attract greater success when it comes to networking.
The following are some broad descriptions of kinds of people you may have met (or may yet meet) while you’re out networking. Can you identify the ones who probably have greater success in the people-meeting arena?
- The Entertainer — This person must be the center of attention at all times The never enter a room unnoticed — when they arrive, they make sure everyone knows they have arrived. They talk at great length about themselves, their fascinating hobbies and pursuits, their thriving businesses, their globetrotting son, their Ph.D. daughter, their cute little dog, their powerful speedboat, their fahb-U-lous neighbors, their oh-so-well-run HOA of which they are the president, their upcoming African safari, their very important positions on various boards of directors, the speech they gave in Cannes last week, their burgeoning portfolio, their…
- The Hostess with the Mostest — This lady knows how to make even the most wilted wallflower feel welcome and important. She genuinely cares about people — she makes it a personal mission to see that everyone who attends an event has a good time- whether or not she’s actually hosting the event. She knows learn how to give a sincere compliment that will make anyone feel instantly more confident and special.
- Grand Inquisitor — This guy hammers others at events with rude, impertinent, or irrelevant questions. No probing is too personal, and he will turn any affront you may take at his boorishness back around on you. He has a commanding presence, but is unaware of the subtleties of interpersonal relationships. If this guy is in sales, he is King of the Hard Sell.
- The UN Ambassador — This person is a diplomatic wonder. They are very well-connected, and they use their seemingly encyclopedic knowledge about their friends’, colleagues’ and associates’ businesses to continually introduce people to one another, building bridges between individuals who might never otherwise meet..
- The Mystery Man — This individual is not quite sure what he does, what he offers, or why he’s in business. He’s quiet, unobtrusive, and you will miss him completely unless you accidentally trip over him on your way back from the bar. He’s the nicest guy, but no one ever gets to know how nice he is because he can’t keep anyone interested long enough for them to learn anything about him. Sherlock Holmes would have a tough time figuring this guy out.
- The Storyteller — This person can engage almost any crowd with their knowledge, charm, and wit. They always have an interesting story at the ready that, while entertaining, is never self-aggrandizing or simply for show. The have learned that telling a story that others can relate to will get and keep people’s attention — and prompt them to ask more questions.
- The Card Dealer — We’ve all met this gal who throws her card at every person she meets, whether or not they are interested — usually before she even asks their name, if she ever gets around to asking at all. For this person, networking is just a numbers game. All she’s got to do is get her card out there to 250 new people per week, and then sit back and wait for the phone to ring. “Damn – why isn’t my phone ringing???”
- The Investigative Reporter — This individual knows how to dig beneath the surface to get to really know people. They usually have more personal knowledge about others than their colleagues (e.g., birthdays, who’s sick or just had a new baby, etc.), not because they’re nosy, but because they’re genuinely interested. They understand the truth in the truism that people do business with those they know, like, and trust. Their secret weapon is ICE.
I = Investigate
C = Celebrate
E = Equilibriate, meaning we’re all equal, so treat everyone — regardless of title, net worth, age, or position in society — equally. [Acronym courtesy of John Dimartini, human behavior specialist.]
Does one of these styles tend to describe you? Is there one you think you might like to emulate to enhance your own networking personality? I think the two biggest keys to successful networking are putting the other person first, and showing up consistently. We’re only about halfway through this series, so I hope you’re at least considering the power and value of networking to help grow your brand as an author!
Next up, we’ll explore ways to find the right event, group, or organization. Until then, happy networking!
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