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Be the Networking GOTO, not the GAF

Have you ever noticed how certain people you meet stick in your mind and when you need help or a particular product or service that you think of them first?

These are the GOTO contacts in your network.  These are the people who have built their name and reputation to the point where they are remembered and pictured first by you and certainly by others.  These are the people who have honed their ‘rememberability’skills and personal qualities and very effectively built their personal brand name and image within their business and social community to the point where it appears that ‘everyone’ knows them.  These are the people you and others will naturally think of and GO TO first.

GOTO’s are easy to talk to and are naturally friendly, open and engaging.  You’ll notice as you talk to them that they are genuinely interested in you and what you have to say while also being interesting.  They are inclusive in that they naturally bring others into conversations and are ever the congenial host when you meet them at business meetings as they put people at ease and make introductions and connect people continually.

GOTO contacts are focused on helping you first.

GOTO contacts are powerful hubs of connectivity and as a networker they are the people you want to look into and become.

Likewise, as you network you will also notice from time to time a very different networking personality – The Networking GAF.  These are the people who are ‘in your face’, totally focused on telling you all about them without listening or showing interest in you.  They will be the hunters looking for the next deal and sale on the day.  They will be the people who thrust their business card at you without asking you first if you would like to receive it.  They will be the people who are looking around for who else to talk to as you are speaking to them

In a nutshell, they are the people you quickly notice that you just want to GET AWAY FROM rather than wanting to stay and talk to.

We can all emulate what we see in others and in a networking context, the people to look into and whose excellent example we can all follow are the ones we recognise as the GOTO contacts.

As you build relationships with GOTO contacts they will consistently refer opportunities to you however, one word of caution is that you can abuse your relationship if they feel the help is all one way i.e. if you fail to reciprocate.

GOTO contacts invariably give first and help first but it is vital that you respect them and your relationship if you want to build your opportunities with them in the longer term.

Look into and not up to people.   Tune yourself into the GOTO contacts you already know and emulate the qualities you like best about them and you too will become the GOTO contact for your own network.

February 23, 2011 | Category: Personal Brand Building — Tony Altham
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