A Global Network

How to Cash in on the New International Currency

Any banker will tell you—if they’re completely honest—that your greatest financial asset is your ability to earn income. It’s not your house, your bank accounts or your car. They don’t actually want your collateral, they want your payments. What’s important to them is your ability to earn money on an ongoing basis. That ability is based on your health (your capacity to work), your knowledge, your skills, your reputation and your experience.

It’s also based on who you know.

It’s always been that way. Have you ever closed a sale simply because you had an existing relationship with your buyer? Conversely, you’ve probably lost a sale or an account because your prospect went to the same fraternity as your competitor or something similar.

It might not be fair, but it’s the way things work. You can lament the unfairness of the setup or you can make it work for you. And with today’s technology, you can network globally, and work with people you haven’t even met face to face.

No matter how technically savvy we become, business still comes down to relationships. People like doing business with people they know and like. Who you know and how well you know them counts for as much—if not more—than what you know and how good your product/service is.

In my studies of successful people, I’ve found that every one of them can attribute a large portion of their achievement to the help of and association with other people. They were led to someone who could help them and they did. People like to help others—they really do. When it comes to networking, the words of Zig Ziglar were never more true, “You can get anything you want in life if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

And that’s what it’s about—helping other people. No matter what you do for work—whether you realize it or not—you’re in the networking business. When you network people together, everyone wins—you and the people whom you connect.

Most of them will appreciate and remember what you’ve done for them and return the favor. The idea is to develop a global network of people and organizations—one that you’ll continue to build upon and that will help you throughout your career.

When you leave your present position, your contact list can be your ticket to a new job and/or new business. I recommend you keep your own contact list and not rely upon that of your employer. In fact, you could even be sued by your former employer if they feel you’ve taken lists and information that was proprietary.

I keep track of everyone I meet. It takes only a moment to enter their names, address and telephone information, as well as a couple of personal notes about them. I track them for two reasons: what I might do for them and what they might do for me. Be sure to exchange business cards with everyone with whom you come in contact.

Your contact list—your network of coworkers, business associates, friends, golfing buddies and the like is a gold mine. Treat it like one, and you’ll have an abundant supply of the New International Currency.

You must work your list. Maintain contact. Networking is a contact sport. Call people. Send them referrals. Mail copies of articles they’d find interesting. If you want to build and maintain relationships, you have to be proactive.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet--a support network helping people and businesses grow and prosper.
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