What’s Your Networking Style

Are you frustrated by the slow return you’re getting from going to networking events? It could be a question of style. Everyone has a networking style and if you can spot the style of the person you’re talking to, it could help you to win the business you’re after.

The DISC personality profiling system identifies four different styles that people roughly fit into. We’re all a mix of the four styles, but one style usually dominates. See if you can spot which style you are.

D – Go-Getter. This person wants to get straight down to business. They want to know exactly what return you can give them. They’ll swoop in with a firm handshake and proffer a business card immediately. When you’re talking to them, get to the point, explain exactly how you can help them. Set up a meeting immediately and stick to it.

I – Promotor. Described by some as the Labrador puppies of the networking world, the promoter is chatty, informal and views networking events as social occasions. They’ll greet you with a friendly hi, pump you hand – and look over your shoulder to see what other conversations are happening. Be friendly back and arrange for a cosy lunch. While it may appear as if you’re talking about nothing, the promoter will think you’re a marvellous person and will want to do business with you.

S – Nurturer. The nurturer is anxious to ensure that everyone else attending the networking event is comfortable and isn’t left on their own. They dress in unobtrusive clothes, so they won’t be noticed. They prefer one to one conversations and hate feel they’re being sold to. If you want to do business with a nurturer, don’t talk business at the event. Set up a one-to-one and they’ll eat out of your hand.

C – Examiner. Examiners are task-oriented, thorough and focused on getting the job done. That’s why they hate networking events. When you meet them, they often stand back because they want to get a good look at you. Put them out of their misery and say you;ll send them an email. This will give them time to give you a measured response.

This theory helps explain why some people’s networking behaviour seems pushy or unfriendly. It will help you play to your own strengths as a networker. Once you have an idea of another person’s style, you can match your approach to their style. And you’ll be in a better position to forge relationships that are beneficial to you both.

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