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There are skills and behaviors that we learn and enhance through our life experiences. What life experience do you bring to the table in order to be successful in networking? A job that many have had is being a server in a restaurant. However, few recognize its value. Servers utilize many skills that are used by successful networkers. Let’s focus on three qualities that make servers great networkers:

1. They Listen

There are five stages of listening: receiving, understanding, remembering, evaluating, and responding. People appreciate when their viewpoint is heard. Good networkers benefit from this quality because when they show interest in other people, they can make personal connections. They can get information, build a personal relationship, and use what they’ve learned to further their career.

2. They’re Organized

Servers must juggle tables, orders, and checks every time they work. In order to do this, they must be extremely mentally organized. Otherwise, orders will go to the wrong tables, and checks will list the wrong items. This same concept applies to networking. If you want to be successful, you must be organized. Before attending a networking event, a networker should have an idea of who they’d like to talk to. Before initiating a conversation, a networker should keep in mind what he or she would like to take from the interaction. After a networking event, a networker should know who to follow up with and why. Be organized with your thoughts and actions to reach your target result.

3. They Understand Their Customer

In order to achieve their desired goal (a good tip), servers must learn to act with the appropriate demeanor. If a server is working at a high-class restaurant, he knows his customer will expect him to act in a well-mannered fashion. By understanding what the customer wants and acting appropriately, the server has a better chance of achieving his desired goal - getting a good tip. Given the situation, a networker’s demeanor could range from extremely professional to extremely casual. Understand who your target audience is and attend events that attract that specific audience. That way, it will be easier to relate to your audience, and they will be more likely to help you reach your goal. A great server listens to the customer, gets the order correct, and understands the customer. When you’re networking, be sure to do these things, too! What have you learned from being a part of the restaurant industry, or being employed in any service function? We want to hear your story! Tell us below. Enjoy this article? You've got time for another! Check out these related articles: Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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