10 Powerful Business Networking Skills to Build Rapport Quickly

Effective networking never happens by taking. It happens by giving.

How to build “magical” rapport.

Overall, there are 10 ways to build what Polish calls, “Magical Rapport”. It’s part of his formula for networking at the highest level. Most of the items in his list make complete sense. Some might go contrary to the way most of the world operates. However, each skill is necessary for the overall formula to work. These ingredients, when properly combined together, will help you achieve explosive results.

Polish says that each skill, even as simple or basic as it might seem, is needed in order to achieve real success in your efforts to collaborate and network in the business world. If you fail to follow through on even one of these, it could be devastating to your results. That’s especially true since falling short or lacking in one skill can entirely negate any positive strides you make in others.

1. Focus on helping to reduce their suffering in some way.

The best networkers in the world like Polish, focus on reducing the suffering of others. The biggest take away here is to ask others about what pain points you can help them solve. In fact, the origins of any successful business start in the desire to solve a problem that the consumer is facing. The most successful businesses are the best at solving those problems.

In business networking, the same thing applies. When you focus on helping others to solve a problem or reduce their pain in some way, you create a long-lasting bond and its forever emblazoned in their minds. As you add value, slowly but surely, from one connection to the next, people remember you as someone who helped them in a very important way.

There’s real power in that. One of the ways that Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire, was able to expertly build his own network was by going out there and trying to reduce the suffering of others. He did this both in his businesses and in his business relationships. That’s a true defining factor in a successful human being.

2. Invest your time, money and energy into relationships.

Arriana Huffington, who is oftentimes called one of the most connected media moguls in the world, understands the underlying necessity to invest your time, money and energy into relationships. While most of the world is out to get, the most well-networked business people in the world are looking to give.

It seems counterintuitive to most people. I know it did to me long ago. But there’s true beauty in giving to others. Not only is there a karmic value there, but it also simply feels good. Learn to relish and appreciate the sheer importance of giving something of yourself to others and incredible things will begin to happen.

3. Be an energy charger rather than an energy drainer.

How do people feel about you when you call them? Are they quick to answer or do they ignore you? The difference is enormous. Those that are energy chargers are always at the top of the list for others. Those that are energy drainers are not.

You often hear Tony Robbins talking about being an energy charger. As an influencer and a networker, he’s acutely focused on the energy that you put out into the world. There’s something to say about being sensitive and attuned to the energy that you’re giving off into the world. People pick up on this so it’s important to be aware of it.

4. Add an enormous amount of value to the lives of others.

I’ve always been a firm believer in adding massive amounts of value. And in business, whether you’re networking or selling a product or providing a service and so on, you have to add loads of value. Without doing that, you won’t get far. There’s something so special and magical about adding value. So few people do it. But when people do, doors open that would never be opened before.

Peter Diamandis, chairman of the X Prize Foundation, co-founder of Singularity University and New York Times bestselling author, is a firm believer in adding an enormous amount of value across the board. He often states that people can achieve extraordinary results by applying this single principle. That’s partly what’s helped him to succeed at such a high level, and it’s something seen amongst the top business networkers and entrepreneurs across the world over.

5. Be useful, be grateful and don’t take people for granted.

No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll always find people who are crass, rude and unruly. However, that’s no reflection on you. It’s only a reflection on themselves. But you have to look past that. Be useful and grateful for any opportunity that you’re given, and don’t take people for granted. This applies as much in the business world as it does in your personal life. We always tend to take people for granted.

You often hear Daymond John, founder and CEO of FUBU and investor on the Shark Tank series, talking about not taking people for granted who are around you. It’s easy to overlook someone and not give them the time of day because you don’t think they’ll add anything of value to your business or your life. But that’s a huge mistake. John argues that you should help others regardless, and to always be useful and grateful.

6. Treat others the same way that you’d like to be treated.

On a similar note, it’s important to be aware of how you’re treating others. If you don’t want people to treat you poorly, why would you go out there and do it others? It makes absolutely no sense. Be kind, even to people you don’t know. It says a lot about you as a human being. It isn’t just good business. It’s part and parcel to a good life.

One person very vocal about this is Shep Gordon, the Hollywood film agent and producer featured in the 2013 documentary, Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. Mike Meyers calls him the nicest person he’s ever met, hands down. He believes firmly in compassionate business, and there’s a reason why he’s been so successful at his craft. Always remember to take into account the feelings of others. It’s monumentally important.

7. Learn to appreciate others, even in the smallest ways.

It’s really easy to overlook an act of kindness done for you. That’s especially true when you’re so used to having those kind acts done on your behalf. But it isn’t about the act of kindness or anything else done for that benefits you in some way. It’s about appreciating it.

When someone reaches out to help you, learn to appreciate it. Don’t look for the negative. Focus on the positive. Chris Anderson, the founder of TED Talks, has based his entire career on learning to appreciate others. It’s because of this deep appreciation of the world and the people in it, that he’s been able to succeed on such a high level. Today, TED Talks provides the basis for that way of thinking — its “ideas worth spreading.”

8. Make it a habit to connect with others daily.

Habits are a huge part of our lives. They comprise a large part of our behavior. Several studies have all confirmed the major role that habits play in our lives. You need to build the habit of connecting with others every single day, and not just make it a random chance occurrence. Reach out as often as possible and figure out who you can introduce to one another.

Marie Forleo, a life coach and the host of MarieTV, an award-winning weekly show, speaks about goals, taking action and power of your daily habits quite often. Forleo says that you should think about where some of the best business relationships in your life have come from, and to really be authentic and not fake when you’re bringing people together in the business world. While doing this daily is important, the habit is only effective when it’s approach with a genuine desire to help others.

9. Spend the time to meet with people as close to in-person as possible

Gary Vaynerchuk, as successful and as popular as he is, understands the necessity to get as close to in-person as possible. What does this mean? Well, if you can’t meet in-person, then use audio and video as much as possible, but customize the message. Don’t send out something canned or generic.

It’s important that you remember to do this. Sure, you can reach out digitally or virtually, but make it personal. Don’t send something that doesn’t have tonality and care for the person that’s actually receiving it. And when people do reach out to you, take the time to reach back if you can. Don’t ignore someone who genuinely wants to connect with you.

10. Be conscious of the long-term cause-and-effects of your actions.

Adam Grant, the author of Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World, argues that networking for the sake of networking won’t pay off. Your network shouldn’t consist of people that you call only when you need something. You have to be aware that if you try to network like that in business, that it could backfire.

However, it also isn’t all about mutually beneficial relationships. While adding loads of value can certainly help, as you work on your own business and gain your own notoriety, Polish says that your success will snowball and you’ll find that your efforts will become far more effective.


This article was originally published on Entrepreneur.