The Power of Giving in Business Part 3: Listening

How great does it feel when someone says, “You've made my day”?   I've said it before – it's the small things that mean a lot to others.

There are ways that we can go the extra mile and stand out from the crowd by doing simple things.

Did you know that 95% of New Zealanders don't follow up after meeting someone for the first time at a networking event? More often than not, a bunch of cards are collected and sit in a draw for some months before being tossed. If you’re one of the 5% who do follow up, you are well ahead of others.

So what else can you do to go the extra mile and stand out?

Learn about – and remember – their interests

Because I want to connect with someone on a personal level when I meet them for the first time, I often learn information about them as a way to reconnect in the future. An example of this is when I met a lady at an event who had a keen interest in horses. A few days afterwards I came across an article which spoke about a new equestrian event being created. Because I knew that was a passion of hers, I chose to email a link to the article to her. She was both surprised and elated that I remembered our conversation and had taken an interest in something she was interested in.

Listen first, then offer ideas

I have an annoying habit of sometimes interrupting people mid conversation. While my intention may be genuine (I have come up with a fantastic idea for them in their business), I have learnt to wait for the person to finish speaking before I put forward that idea.   Sometimes I forget the idea at the time but it miraculously comes to me some days later. I use that is a perfect opportunity to reconnect with someone. They love the fact that their business is at the forefront of my mind and I took the time to share with them my idea – but more importantly, they felt listened to first and know that the idea came from a place of understanding.

So how can you stand out at your next networking event? Put other people’s needs first and make sure you’re listening.