Have you ever walked into a room full of people and thought, “How do I get business from this group?” I am sure you have! As entrepreneurs we walk into rooms full of people all the time and we recognize these as ideal opportunities for generating business.
If you don’t know how to effectively gain referrals in these situations, the opportunity is lost. When you attend networking functions you are potentially walking into a room full of business. However, networking is more about “farming than it is about hunting.” This means you get to know the people that you want to build a professional relationship with.
With that in mind, how can you identify and react appropriately to the behavioral styles of others and have your behavioral style attract them to you rather than turn them off?
Here are the four main behavioral styles, complete with a short definition and description, followed by a short assessment of that networking style. As you get to know your networking partners better, you’ll be in a better position to understand how to work with them effectively.
Definition: A hustling, enterprising type of person.
Go-Getters tend to be very results-oriented, driven, fast-paced and impatient. They have a “get it done now” attitude. They attend networking events to gain new business and look to meet the most successful people at the event.
Go-Getters “believe in expedience and are not afraid to bend the rules. They figure it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. They are so focused that they can appear aloof. They are so driven that they forget to take the time to smell the roses.”
Definition: An active supporter, someone who urges the adoption of, or attempts to sell or popularize someone or something.
Promoters tend to be very positive, friendly and “happy go lucky” type of people. They love to be on the go and are okay with having lots of irons in the fire. They avoid confrontations and seek fun in everything they do! They attend networking events to hang out, meet new people, talk to their friends and make sure they are “seen” at the event.
“Promoters would rather “schmooze” with clients over lunch than work on a proposal in the office. They are idea-people and dreamers who excel at getting others excited about their vision. They are risk-takers who are not inclined to do their homework or check out information and base many of their decisions on intuition.”
Definition: Someone who gives tender care and protection to a person or thing, especially to help it grow or develop.
Nurturers tend to be very patient, kind, caring and helpful people. They are great listeners and tend to enjoy things at a slower pace than the Go-Getters and Promoters. They do not liked to be pushed or rushed into things and appreciate quality time with people. They attend networking functions to connect with people they already know, meet a few down to earth people and focus on deepening their relationships.
Nurturers relaxed dispositions make them approachable and warm. They develop strong networks of people who are willing to be mutually supportive and reliable. They are excellent team players. But they are risk-averse and may tolerate an unpleasant environment rather than risk a change.”
Definition: A person who inspects or analyzes a person, place or thing in detail, while testing their knowledge or skill by asking questions.
Examiners tend to be very thorough, efficient, task-driven people. They seek information and knowledge and love to check things off their “to do” list. Because Examiners need a lot of information, they tend to make decisions more slowly than the Go-Getters and Promoters. They have a propensity towards perfectionism. Examiners tend to be very good conversationalists as they know a lot about a lot of topics. They attend networking functions only to market their business and, once they achieve their goal for the evening, they usually leave the event as quickly as possible.
Examiners are always in control of their emotions (note the poker-faces of many Jeopardy! contestants) and may become uncomfortable around people who are less self-contained; i.e., emotional and bubbly like Promoters. They tend to see the serious, complex side of situations. Their intelligence and natural wit, however, gives them unique, quick and off-the-wall senses of humor.”
Once you start to understand these four different behavioral styles, it can actually become easy to identify someone, adapt to their style, help them feel comfortable – and make them feel good at the same time! Understanding this as a starting point will allow you to begin to develop a stronger working relationship with potential networking partners.
By Dr. Ivan Misner, founder and chairman of BNI.