• David Grammig

Network with Impact 6/7: Listen and Give something for free!

Ernest Hemingway said – “When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

What a great quote! I could have added it in the last month article. Listen more than talk when you first meet someone new at a Networking event. Getting to know someone else involves curiosity about where they have come from, who they are.

Networking with impact involves: Preparation (1-2-3-4/7), Being liked (5/7), Getting to know (6/7) and building Trust (7/7 – next month!).

Today, the article is about the fourth phase: Getting to know

Listen and give something for free

How long does it take to get to know someone?

  • It depends!

  • It depends how good are your questions.

  • It depends on how interesting and willing to have a dialogue is the person in front of you.

Having said that

  • With the right questions you will gather loads of information.

  • By knowing what is important for the people you meet, you can be relevant to others.

  • By being relevant to others, this is how you influence.

Gathering intelligence is also a way for you to pick better options to give something for free.

Yes, you read me right. At networking events you should be ready to give something for free.

Let me explain:

When making a decision, it would be nice to think that people consider all the available information. Mainly to guide their thinking. But the reality is very often different. In the overloaded lives we lead, more than ever we need shortcuts or rules of thumb to guide our decision-making.

Robert Cialdini research has identified six of these shortcuts. They are universals that guide human behavior, they are:

  • Reciprocity,

  • Scarcity,

  • Authority,

  • Consistency,

  • Liking,

  • Consensus.

Video on these six shortcuts:

Understanding these shortcuts and employing them in an ethical manner can significantly increase the chances that someone will be persuaded by your request.

Let’s have a closer look at the principles of Reciprocation.

People are obliged to give back to others the form of a behavior, gift, or service that they have received first. “The old give and take”; “I rub your back; you rub my back”. It means that we should try to repay in kind what another person has provided us with.

The key to using the Principle of Reciprocity is to be the first to give. Ensure that what you give is personalized, unexpected and relevant.

Now back to our Networking theme and the startling statement I wrote earlier….

What can you give for free?

What can you give for free that is personalized and unexpected?

Here are some Examples:

  • introduction to someone you know,

  • information on a tradeshow,

  • forward an article…

Bob Proctor, Author of the book “You were born Rich” said: ”The law of prosperity is generosity. If you want more, give more.”

In short, to Network with Impact, make generosity part of your growth strategy.


“The more people you help, the more help you’ll have and the more help you’ll have helping others.” – Never Eat Alone; Keith Ferrazzi.

Next month will be the seventh and last article on Networking with Impact. The topic is “Trust”.

You will learn how Trust is earned when actions meet words, that following up is not just OK. It’s Vital and it’s your job to remind people that you exist.

This is the sixth time you read me! I would love to hear about your personal experience with what you offer for free when you Network. Why don’t you email me and tell me what works for you! You will get a special mentioned in the article next month when I write about “Trust”.

See you next month!


Cécile Bastien Remy is an international corporate communication & presentation skills trainer, TEDx & Keynote Speaker.

You can contact Cécile at cecile@speak4impact.net or directly on her website www.speak4impact.net

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