Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

07970 638857


Business Networking Skills: Getting To Know You In 4 Minutes

It's a simple process that offers great results ...

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I'm indebted to Phil Burton, my coach and colleague in Asentiv, for inspiring this week's blog post about business networking skills. We were practising a little exercise we use to quickly build a bond that starts a relationship ...

Getting to know you in 4 minutes is one of our more simple business networking skills!

Getting to know you in 4 minutes is one of our more simple business networking skills!

copyright: pressmaster / 123rf stock photo

It's a simple process that offers great results. We take it in turns to talk for two minutes about ourselves without mentioning work or our business.

"Phil talked about his childhood growing up in a part of Norwich called Hellesdon!"

I remarked that my grandmother lived there, but I couldn't remember the name of the road. Phil then mentioned Middleton Lane and in a flash, I was transported back to remembering my grandmother and I could almost smell the house with that typically English post-war aroma of cooked cabbage.

Then the memories flowed to later when, as a teenager, my sister and I would cycle around the outskirts of Norwich to visit my aunt and uncle who continued to live in the same house after my grandmother had died.

Talking this through with Phil, we observed that as we are more or less the same age we could well, as children have bumped into each other along that road to the local sweet shop.

Phil and I have known each other for years through Asentiv, and although I knew he lived in Norfolk, this was the first time we found a common bond that had such an emotional pull for me.

It has taken our relationships onto a more personal level. It is unlikely we would have found this if we had just talked about what we had in common in business.

Referral marketing relies on the level of trust and motivation each person has in helping each other in business. That trust is built on witnessing each other's behaviours; are they ethical and genuine?

We also seek evidence that the services they offer are high quality, either by using them ourselves or through testimonials and endorsement of others. However, trust is also an emotional, instinctual feeling that sometimes we cannot explain in words. We just know.

This emotional response, this knowing, comes when we find a common bond and discover the way that this person is like us!

We will only find this if we get to know the person and get - and give - a little self-disclosure. And this comes from learning a little of the personal and sharing some self-disclosure. By that, I don't mean pouring out your deepest or darkest secrets to a near stranger, but just sharing something about your personal life.

The great thing about this is that as well as building trust, we become motivated to help this other person. Why wouldn't we after all now we know that in some way this person is like us?

So, my tip for you this week is simple. Next time you have a one-to-one meeting with someone from your network, use our little exercise. Take it in turns to talk to the other person about yourself without mentioning work or business for two minutes. Don't plan what you're going say, just talk about whatever pops into your head.

Some people will find this hard to do so challenge them if they slip into talking about their work (even past work). Stick to the personal. It may seem strange at first, but It's worth the effort if it speeds up the development of trust and will motivate you both to help each other further.

"Would you like to know more?"

If you'd like to learn more business networking skills then do give me a call on 07970 638857 or click here to ping me an email and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


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