Business & Economy

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 18:08

Karl Smith, Africa’s Networking Guru set to address forums at Africa’s largest Dental Show

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The Cape Dental Show 2013 will be held from the 17th, 18th and 19th May in Cape Town and Africa’s own Networking Guru will share valuable networking and personal branding skills with dealmakers.

 “By becoming an established and regular networker, you can propel your business onto the radar of other companies and industry figures”, says Karl Smith - founder of Business Networking South Africa.

This will allow you to build mutually beneficial relationships not only with other companies in your field, but also with suppliers or potential clients, which in turn will help to expand your market.

Networking is building mutually beneficial relationships … nothing less … nothing more. Networking is not a mere exchange of business cards at a cocktail party nor is it bragging about yourself or begging for help from people you barely know.

A successful network connection requires a mutual understanding from the start that it is about "what I can do for you" as much as it is about "what you can do for me". Those connections and the support required to maintain them, are the necessary ingredients to developing a solid network.

Here are six habits that successful networkers live by:

1.Define your networking goals. Collecting a massive stack of business cards is not an end in itself - it's a waste of time (yours and the people you are collecting cards from). There needs to be a purpose behind every networking opportunity. Are you looking for clients, staff/skills, investors or work?

2.Seek first to understand before being understood. Listen generously. Always wait a second after a person finishes speaking before you speak.

3.Be fully present. Be fully engaged and fully aware of the people you interact with. Many people only seem to be "half there", so being fully engaged helps you stand out.

4.Be yourself. When you’re meeting people, be authentic. That means demonstrating care and concern, by keeping it real.

5.Make yourself useful. Attempt to help others before you ask for help yourself.  You may have an idea which could benefit someone. Sometimes helping others can be as simple as recommending a book to them. If you are perceived as a helpful person, more and more people would want to do business with you.

6.Don’t waste contact information. Why take someone’s card if you are not going to follow up. A simple email saying “I really enjoyed our conversation…” will do. But why not take it a step further state your purpose and ask for a brief follow-up meeting.

Finally, you’re also going to need a network of peers, so don’t be wary of making friends with your competition. When you see other people achieving similar goals, you will be reminded that your own plans and dreams are possible. And if you are feeling daunted by a task, there’s no better encouragement than learning that somebody else has already achieved something similar.

Smith concludes that a relationship requires time to build, and more importantly, it requires integrity, credibility and trust. The good news is that they can acquire this vital business competency by getting the right knowledge, the right attitude and plenty of practice to become good at it.

This article may be copied or republished with the following credit. "By Karl Smith: author, speaker and founder of Business Networking South Africa” Cape Town.

Visit for more information about the Cape Dental Show.

Karl Smith is a personal branding, networking and referral marketing authority. He is an author, presenter, trainer, coach and consultant working across financial, accounting and other services industries and sectors. He has a particular interest in the secrets to building a solid reputation, power networks and mental toughness. All his work is dedicated to helping you to Stand Out in marketing and selling yourself, your skills, your vision, your ideas, your products or service. Karl is credited with using personal branding, networking and referral marketing to move from zero clients to JSE listed clients. He delivers transformative keynotes and workshops for some of South Africa’s most successful companies. He takes you on a journey of memorable real life stories and observations, that not only enthrall and enthuse, but leave audience members’ minds buzzing with new ideas which will help them to stand out from the competition and to develop mental toughness. Karl has authored Beyond The Business Handshake, Secrets To Getting Referrals, Networking Etiquette 101 and three EBooks on personal branding. His articles have featured in premier magazines such as Accountancy SA, Black Business Quarterly and CEO. According to the average number of Google searches, Karl’s articles influence many across the globe. Why? Because his mission is to help people to win with themselves so that they can win with others. He is known by his coaching clients as insightful, passionate and an acute strategic thinker as he assists them to turn their dreams into plans, plans into action and action into results. He exudes optimism and a genuine belief in the power of the individual to achieve great things. He not only sees the glass as half full, he sees the potential for it to be overflowing. Prior to founding Business Networking South Africa Karl has held a number of corporate executive positions, bringing relationship building, marketing, branding and strategic success to major organizations. He holds a BA Degree, HDE and Masters of Public Administration.  Are you really doing enough to stand out from the crowd? 

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