The Networker #37: Amateur v Elite Networkers

27 Sep, 2023
Read time: 3 minutes & 43 seconds

In any discipline, you’ll have amateur and elite level individuals.

It’s not genetics that differentiates them.

It’s how they think, how they behave and approach their skill.

From their processes, to habits, to mindsets, and their systems.

Networking is no different.

It’s a skill you can hone to help your career and business explode.

Unfortunately, when you start out, there’s no guide. Or a how-to manual.

Before you know it, you’ve built poor habits, lack any processes, and your networking motivation dwindles.

The truth is, we can all control our ways in a pursuit of being an elite level networker.

And whilst the The Networkers Playbook will be designed to help you become one.

Let’s see how the behaviours of elite networkers compare with the amateurs.

Amateurs Have a Scattergun Approach, Elite Networkers Are Laser Focussed

Elite networkers understand they can’t be everywhere.

And don’t try to be.

They don’t try to be at 50 different events, spreading their focus thin across each of them.

They rather spend quality focussed time on a handful of events, regularly and consistently.

Amateur networkers try to be everywhere and miss the point of what networking really is.

It’s not the quantity of people you know, it’s the quality of the relationships.

In a time poor world, elite networkers realise less can be more.

Amateurs Are Hunters, Elite Networkers Are Farmers

Amateur networkers have a short term horizon to networking.

They expect quick wins.

And go hunting for the results.

However, there’s no magic pill for networking.

Elite networkers understand this. They are farmers, not hunters.

They realise it’s a long term game and need to plant seeds and nurture the relationships, knowing the results come.

Amateurs Go Networking To Sell, Elite Networkers Ask Questions

With a short term horizon, amateur networkers’ approach is reflective of that.

One where they’re quickly into a sales pitch without establishing any rapport or if it’s appropriate and relevant.

Elite networkers have a curious, how can I help others, mentality.

They are genuinely interested.

And with that, comes questions, not pitches.

Amateurs Attend Adhoc, Elite Networkers Show Up Consistently

Amateur networkers dip in and out of networking.

Elite networkers know that’s a waste of their time and effort.

That it requires A LOT of luck. You need to be right place, right time.

Elite networkers create their own luck – with consistency.

They understand consistency is key and that it’s a competitive advantage.

And by combining that with their long term focus, it’s what makes them the person people think of, when they think of what they do.

Amateurs Listen to Reply, Elite Networkers Listen to Understand

You were blessed with two ears and one mouth.

Elite networkers know this, and use them in proportion when networking.

Amateur networkers don’t tend to.

Not realising opportunity is often in what others are saying, rather than what you have to say.

Elite networkers, with their genuinely interested and curious approach, will actively listening to understand people.

Amateurs don’t and instead eagerly wait for their chance to speak.

Amateurs Are Battery Drainers, Elite Networkers Are Chargers

Elite networkers are those you find yourself wanting to be around.

They’re positive. Enthusiastic about finding out about you. Bring others into conversations.

Amateur networkers are the opposite.

They’ll talk about themselves. Find reasons to complain or moan. Not ask questions about others.

In those interactions, you find yourself being drained of your energy.

Or glazing over desperately waiting for the interaction to end.

With elite networkers, you’re smiling more, more engaged, and charged up from their energy.

Amateurs Hope It Works, Elite Networkers Make It Work

Amateurs go networking and see what happens. They hope they’re in the right place at the right time.

They hope they land in the good conversations and are on the receiving end of referrals.

Elite networkers make it happen.

They are tracking their networking. Focusing on their pre and post event activity.

They are showing up consistently, but they know consistency means nothing if you’re consistently doing the wrong thing.

Elite networkers know they have to work to make their networking work.

The Wrap Up

Notice I’ve used ‘elite’ instead of ‘expert’.

I don’t believe there is such a thing as an expert networker.

The world is constantly changing. What worked 10 years ago, may not work now.

Technological advancements mean we can network in different ways. With new tools at our disposal.

Elite networkers know you’re always improving and remaining agile to the rapidly changing landscape.

Consider a competitor of yours as the amateur, and you as the elite networker.

You realise how your networking becomes a competitive advantage.

Now, go out and be elite.

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1 networking tip, trend or tidbit – every Wednesday morning.

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