By Matthew Davies

It’s been said that, ‘Networking is more about farming than it is about hunting.’ In other words, it’s about cultivating relationships and building trust. Buying a property is usually the biggest investment a person will ever make – so trust is crucial. To be successful, you have to put yourself out there, meet new people, and show that you’re someone they can put their confidence in.

Listen Up

One surefire way to gain another’s trust is to show that you’re attentive and listening to them. There’s a saying I use in my sales training, which holds true in most environments:

“They don’t care how great you are until they understand how great they are.”

Listening is the number one way to develop trust at the beginning of any relationship. However, it’s just as important to actively show them you’re listening - use body language, don’t interrupt and take notes. I genuinely treat networking events as a listening exercise. I can’t bear it when I see fellow networkers engage with someone only to suddenly start scanning the room for better prey. It’s rude and they’re missing a great trick which I call the ‘I know somebody who knows somebody rule.’

So you sell houses but the person you’re talking to rents an apartment. You may think you’re wasting your time, but then you find out he’s friends with the guy who owns the park that’s about to be flattened to make way for - yes you guessed it - luxury homes. No matter their initial impression, the person you’re talking to may well hold the key to unlocking a major deal – plus it’s just good manners!

Introduce yourself – just do it!

Networking is fascinating to observe. People who aren’t great with strangers are thrust into an alien environment. They huddle with their colleagues or old acquaintances hoping that the time will pass by quickly enough so they won’t have to talk to anyone new. That makes me think, “Why bother!”

Embracing the purpose of these gatherings – to meet new colleagues and friends - is vital. It will give you real impetus to reach out to new people at these events for many reasons including referrals, recruiting talent, finding suppliers, understanding competition, gaining strategic alliances, undertaking market research, developing your marketing message, exposing yourself to new ideas and insights, connecting with key influencers and increasing your visibility. That’s a lot, don’t you think?

My top tip is JUST DO IT. There may be some inertia to reckon with - you know it’s important to network but some invisible force will turn you away from jumping in and having a successful session. The solution is simple, JUST DO IT. In the words of Leonardo Da Vinci, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”

And don’t limit yourself to just conferences. As a Real Estate Agent, networking opportunities happen on a daily basis. Think of it like going in for the kiss without knowing the other person. Yes it can feel scary and awkward but JUST DO IT. You never know, you might just meet the person who takes your career to the next level.

Matthew Davies is a Coach and Motivational Speaker for companies including Vodafone, Freuds and

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