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The 7 Keys to the Art of Successful Networking

by Aug 3, 2022

Hi, I am Ali Bagley, Business Writers Coach, Best Selling Author & Master Geographer of Emotions and I am an avid networker who has seen her business grow directly as a result of building relationships through networking without ever directly selling to anyone.

Here is the lowdown on being a successful Networker 

  1. Choose the right networking groups
  2. Be honest, open and authentic
  3. No Selling
  4. Be interested first, interesting second
  5. Be curious, gather information
  6. Be an advocate and an ambassador
  7. Bring in your prospects

Let’s go deeper . . .

1. Choose the right networking groups

There is no point joining a networking group and spending an hour or more regularly attending if the group does not resonate with you. By all means try them all out if you have time but don’t sign up if it doesn’t feel right.

You should be looking for 3, maybe 4 groups to join, which you may have to pay for but investing in good groups is investing in your business (tax deductible).

Look for groups that meet at a time convenient to you, attract like minded individuals, have members who understand about relationship building, not selling all the time. Maybe you want a group that will offer you a spot light speaking opportunity, do you want live and local or online? Do a bit of research and then settle on the groups that work for you, that resonate with you and that you enjoy attending

2. Be Honest, open and authentic 

Be YOU . . . So many times I see people in networking groups who are ‘bigging up’ who they are, what they have achieved etc. all well and good but when you look deeper you see the real story. Immediately my intention to get to know like and trust the person becomes don’t trust, not sure I like, don’t want to know more.

Please don’t be that person. Just be you, be honest, be open, be authentic. Yes talk about your successes, yes show people your achievements, yes be confident and assured when you talk about what you do and who you help.

Just don’t exaggerate, overhype, or most of all outright lie. You will be found out!

3. No Selling

No selling? Seriously? Why network if you can’t sell?

I didn’t say you can’t sell, I said no selling. There is a subtle but very important difference.

In most networking groups you will be asked what you do, or you may get the chance to ‘pitch’. Most people will say:

I am xxx, and I help xxx, by xxx, and you can find out more here: xxx.

That can be defined as a closed statement. and honestly, who cares, unless you just happen to be in a group where someone is specifically looking for your service and although they don’t know you, they want to get straight to your sales page and sign up. Yeah that’s going to happen maybe one in a hundred times.

Here is how you ‘pitch’ in a networking group:

Hi, I am Ali and I make dreams come true, by building skills, knowledge and confidence. I do that first by finding out about you so am looking forward to hearing your stories.

Can you see the difference?

  1. People are going to be thinking, ‘so how does she makes dreams come true?’
  2. It is different and so will capture attention
  3. It begs for questions
  4. It shows interest in others, that you are there to find out about them, not just sell yourself.

Got it? Great. Plan your pitch / intro now:

I am __________________________________________

and I____________________________________________________________________________________________

by _____________________________________________________________________________________________

and I do that first by _______________________________________________________________________________

4. Be interested first, interesting second

This is all about honing your listening skills, actual, active listening. What does that mean?

Active listening is the process by which an individual secures information from another individual or group. It involves paying attention to the conversation, not interrupting, and taking the time to understand what the speaker is discussing. The “active” element involves taking steps to draw out details that might not otherwise be shared.

  • Use eye contact, not easy on zoom but do it by looking into your camera, not at the screen (although you lose the ability to read facial expressions this way).
  • Don’t interrupt. You will have plenty to say but resist the urge.
  • Ask questions based on what has been said to dig deeper into the persons story.
  • Listen, process and understand what is being said

5. Be curious, gather information

Trust me, effective networking is based on you really getting to know and understand the people in the group. Ask them who they are, what they do, the problem they solve and what they need. Write it down with their contact details.

You want to grow a pool of people and businesses that you can recommend to others you meet. Why? Because by recommending others, those recommended get to know, like and trust you more. They will want to know more about you, they will want to put you in their ‘pool’ and recommend you.

6. Be an advocate and an ambassador

When someone recommends someone to you that recommendation is like gold dust.

You can be an advocate and ambassador for the services that the people you network with provide. Then, when you recognise a need in someone you meet, that can be solved by someone in your ‘pool’, you put those people together. ‘Ping’, know, like and trust from both the person with the need and the solution provider.

7. Bring in your prospects 

And last but not least. Invite people you know who you think would benefit from being in your networking group, to come along and experience an event. This way you can continue to grow your relationship with them in the group and they will benefit from your introduction.

Let’s Summarise all that

The 7 Keys to the Art of Successful networking

  1. Choose the right networking groups
  2. Be honest, open and authentic
  3. No Selling
  4. Be interested first, interesting second
  5. Be curious, gather information
  6. Be an advocate and an ambassador
  7. Bring in your prospects

In essence, you do a bit of research and trial and error then choose 3 or 4 groups where you are happy and amongst people you resonate with, who meet at a good time for you and in the right environment.

Then you get to know those people, as they will be getting to know you. Ask them who they are, what they do, what problems they solve and what they are looking for.

When they ask you, don’t be ‘salesy’, just say what you do, who you help, the problems you solve and what you are looking for.

Create a pool of referrals so that when you identify a need or a problem, you can bring people together to solve it.

Be you, real and authentic, no bullshit!

The number one objective of networking is . . .


To find out more about this or to discuss any of your business or writing needs, desires and wants then either email be or book a slot here: