I have a fantastic network of people around me who help me with different aspects of my business life. They all form part of my Business Process and I find a supportive network invaluable. I am proud that a few of my most trusted contacts have agreed to write a guest blog post for Employee IT Training. All of the guest blogs deal with different aspects of networking, credibility or business process. Enjoy!
This weeks guest blog is brought you by Dinah Liversidge
Credibility is defined as “Trust or belief in someone based on their track record” or, in networking terms, what people are saying about us when we’re not in the room. Our credibility, or lack of it, will have a huge impact on our success in our networks and yet few business owners invest as much effort in building their credibility as they do in building their brand.
Most networks include or indeed focus on, the chance to create business connections for each other. The idea being that, as you build relationships with fellow members they will put you in touch with people they know and opportunities that will bring you business. And as you build those relationships, you are establishing a track record, a reputation, a level of credibility.
As a member of your network, I will only make those connections for you, or start conversations about you, once you have shown me that you are credible and, that recommending you is good for my reputation. Once you have reached a level of credibility with your contacts you will find a high proportion of your business is generated by referral and recommendation.
So, what are the first steps to being a credible networker? Here are my top five tips to get you started on that journey up the networking credibility curve:
- Under promise and over deliver. We’ve all been let down by people in our networking circles. Largely, because they promised more than the end result – whether that’s a product or service. This starts at the most basic level, so deliver on your promises and keep them realistic.
- Stop talking. Everyone loves to talk about themselves. Their business, their troubles, their exciting new projects. If you want to be really popular in your networks, be a listener rather than a talker. Listeners make the best introducers as they hear the important details and this helps them connect the right people. Great for your credibility.
- Stop selling to your networks. All too often, whether at face-to-face networking meetings, or in the groups on various social media platforms, it feels like everyone is simply broadcasting. “MY SPECIAL OFFER” “MY NEW WEBSITE” . By targeting the people in our networks, we fail to see the bigger picture, of them as our connectors, our introducers, our ambassadors. Stop selling to them and start getting to know them.
- Do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. You’ve heard it before. So do it. Simple and the most effective way to build credibility. And remember, you always have the chance to say “no” to something.
- Talk about other people’s business rather than your own. I always carry the business cards of my ten best contacts. People I believe are credible. People I want to succeed because they set high standards and deserve to do well in their business. When I go networking, my aim is not to give out handfuls of my own cards, but to find opportunities to talk about the people in my card file. When I connect two people, I’ve built credibility with both of them and I’ve also shown them both that I value them and see them as credible.
What is your top tip for building credibility with your networks?
Dinah Liversidge is a Mentor and Speaker and author of “The Credibility Curve”. She has delivered training and talks across Europe and the USA on Credibility and Networking and ran a region of the worlds’ largest business networking organisation, where she mentored members on how to build business by referral. Connect with her on twitter: @DinahLiversidge or visit her website http://dinahliversidge.com