Networking, Russian style, to grow your sales pipeline

Just when you think you’re a pretty darned good networker, someone comes along and shows you how to build relationships even better.

In a StartupNation Key Move article, Start Your Business Globally, Glenn Coggeshell of Black Dot Coffee talks about doing business in Russia and then this little gem gets dropped on us at the very end of the article:

What makes Glenn an excellent networker is that he doesn’t quickly dismiss new people he meets if it isn’t obvious right away how they might benefit each other. “People will shoot themselves in the foot by saying, ‘I’m not going to get anything from talking with this guy,’” he says. “But I like taking more time and learning about someone. About 99% of my success has come from the fact that I spent another minute with that sort of person.”

Whoa! I know that I got my listening skills from both my mom & my dad. My dad would give anyone 15 minutes of conversation, even if it was the dullest human in the zip code. But I’m nowhere near that patient, and I admit that I’m often too quick to judge the value of a relationship.

But I can absolutely relate to Glenn’s bonus insight. Yes, there have been times when I was about ready to end a networking conversation and then it happens. A piece of information or the connecting of a mutual contact that makes the encounter extremely valuable. If I had begged off a minute earlier, that opportunity would have been lost forever.

So here’s my New Year’s (hey, I just had a birthday, I can do this) resolution. I will be more patient, listen better & longer, and look intently for ways to build stronger relationships.

Maybe it’ll get me to Moscow.

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