Network Is Not Just A Word

Recruitment Consultant, Daryl McCloskey, gives his thoughts on the value of using your network

Most of us treat our network as just another word, something that “other people” have but we do not.  When you go to work and you see someone performing better that you it is easy to think “they just have that special something”. They don’t, they just know how to utilise everything around them.

Now let’s think of the people we see as top performers. These people would know that if they lost their job on Friday they could make a few phone calls maybe a few emails and by Monday they would have a job offer. These are the people that know how to utilise everything around them through their network.

The world’s best networkers

If you want to know who the world’s best networkers are, I would have to refer to when I went home to Ireland.

I was there for a family wedding, a huge affair with 400+ people coming and going. These events are lively affairs that sometimes last for days, depending on people you know.

The reason I’m mention this was at these events I would see my father talking to every person he could find for his own network. That day he met a gardener, a decorator, an electrician plus many other talented tradesmen. My dad invested time and some effort to build a rapport with these people. The year before my sister’s wedding he told me that the next time I visited I wouldn’t recognise the house when I saw it… he was right. He had got the garden done, the house decorated and even outside fitted with lights to show it off!

This is an extreme example of your network being larger than you imagine. You may not have the audacity of an Irish man, but the fact remains: We ALL have a network.

Yes, even if…

You didn’t go to Cambridge University
You don’t need the gift of the gab
You don’t know the Queen personally

You have an invisible network that you’re probably not utilising to its full potential. What if you could use it strategically, investing in it and letting it grow?

Building a strong network is not easy but it is simple

It is easy to have a basic network but, for me, it’s not enough! In my first year in recruitment I had to work harder than the ordinary recruiter. For example, if the average was to get 5 people to help find new opportunities in a week then I would find 10. This was to help increase my chance of success but at the same time increasing my own network and reputation.

This way of networking can be used in your everyday and professional life.

Image taken from: http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/appreciation-versus-flattery

Stand out, and you will instantly have more credibility and higher-level connections with people who will want to help you. Building your network is not about sending inmails to someone, pretending to be interested in them and asking them if they’re recruiting or looking for a job. Creating real relationships is about investing in them first, figuring out what they want and need, then helping them get it. Most of the “networking” you do will simply be helping people and getting nothing back in return.  When you have this type of mentality about networking you will understand that it’s about adding real value instead of extracting it.

Keeping your network working for you

Once you have built some rapport with someone then begin to close the loop with them that day by simply thanking them for their time. This just shows that appreciation and value in the time you have invested. After that I would always recommend closing the loop again in 2 weeks just for an update from them if you haven’t spoken sooner.  For example; in our industry we give people information such as a lead, a referral or current market info.  If someone in your network helps you, ask that person they recommended to thank them. This reinforces the relationship and helps them to remember to recommend you again. This not only gives you the chance to strengthen your network but to also find market knowledge for you space to help you.

When you are looking to close your next deal or you looking to find your next opportunity, think about who is in your network. The stronger your network is the easier these thinks will become in the future.

Daryl has been a recruitment consultant with Enterprise Sales Personnel for the last 2 years, having come from a sales background.

If you would like to speak to Daryl about ways to expand your network or if you are looking for your next IT sales opportunity then please call 0161 446 4160 or contact him through LinkedIn.