Good listening is active, not passive:
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...you can develop are listening and asking questions.
These 2 skills will impress your clients even more than your best business statistics.
Keep questions positive and focused.
Ask a question that is on-topic whenever possible. If the topic is negative, do not just suddenly change topics. It will make the speaker uncomfortable. Instead, give an empathetic reply to show support and then ask a question to redirect to something that is still related, but allows the speaker to respond with something a little more positive.
While a referral or an introduction can be great, at the end of the day it's all about you grabbing life by the horns and saying, "This is who I am and this is what I do."
At the gym. At the pool. At the club. At whatever event.
Catching up with someone I know over lunch can actually be much more appealing than making small talk with strangers over finger food. But often, we undervalue (and underprioritize) these appointments, even though meeting with people in our current professional circle is networking.
Many people avoid networking because it feels awkward and unnatural. Research shows that networking to gain career benefits can lead to feelings of dirtiness.
But cultivating an effective network offers substantial professional and personal benefits, such as finding new jobs, obtaining promotions and receiving pay raises. A strong network is also associated with innovation, creativity, health and happiness.