Top Tips from Top Networkers


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I always love getting advice from fellow expert networkers, so I thought I’d curate a few top tips from top networkers from across the country, from Dublin to Donegal, and lots of places in between.

I didn’t give any cues or set a preface for these tips, so they are random, but all worthy of your attention.

Manage Expectations

‘One top tip I give new members’, says Danny Towell, Director Consultant of BNI, ‘is about managing expectations.  For the first 9-12 months you should commit to listen, learn and to try to help others. Expect little in return but reap the benefits of building up credibility in the years to come.

Seek to Serve

Colm O’Brien is a business coach, author, mentor, podcaster, TEDx speaker and much more. He says, ‘Stop selling, start serving, Ask how can I help? And mean it. Then help.
Your reward will come from another direction. Universal law.

Be Social

‘My top tip for networking is to connect on social media with people you meet and engage with them to build a relationship.’ Great advice from Maureen McCowen of Softskillsuccess.

Be Interested

‘When meeting someone for the first time it is important to focus on them and ask questions about their business, their challenges and where do they want to get to. Who would they like to meet and ‘how can I help you’?
Networking is not about selling – it’s the first stage of the relationship.’ Sage words from a veteran networker, Tom O’Kelly of ACTIONCoach.

Don’t Sell

‘My top tip is lose the sales pitch. Networking is all about building relationships!!’, says
Sonia Moran from Punctual Print.

Ask Questions

Michael McGinty – MEANit, a website and digital agency in Donegal, says ‘ask questions’.
Ask opening ‘open’ questions to get the conversation going.

As a way of remembering, use the acronym F O R M, as in Family, Organisation, Recreation and Motivation.

Some examples are:

  • Have you got children?
  • What ages are they?
  • Are you involved in GAA or Rugby or ACCA…whatever?
  • What do you do at the weekend or to relax?
  • Why are you attending or what do you hope to learn here?
Only by listening and being open to hearing, will you get insights, that may open doors for you with people you meet. Focus on being more interested than interesting.

Create Value

Siobhan Fitzpatrick from The Networking Hub tell us to equate your networking transactions to your bank account transactions.  She gives some wise advice:

You would never ask a bank where you don’t yet have an account for a loan. So why would you ‘make an ask’ of a new contact or someone you don’t yet have a relationship with, for anything?

Invest your time and energy into building relationships, just as you would in building you ank balance. Give before you take. Create the value before looking to extract it.


Business mentor extraordinaire, Amanda Delaney from We Can & We Will  says, ‘Listen more than you talk. Be more interested in others. How can you add value to the people you meet?’


Evelyn Mc Glynn from Evelyn Mc Marketing and PRO Donegal Women in Business Network. says “Lets Meet For A Coffee” (virtual or otherwise) and “I am connecting you with…” should be uttered or typed by you at least four times a week!

Get into the habit of bringing people together and supporting what they can bring to one another, with no real agenda of personal gain for yourself, although that does organically happen!

The more you do it the more it becomes a habit and it will be something you will become known for, which in turn will bring  more and more people to connect and engage with you. But remember to do it authentically and always give more than take.

To Conclude

I enjoy getting tips from my fellow networkers.  As a collective, we’ve learned from those who went before us, those who made mistakes and learned as they went along. It’s my hope that you enjoy the tips and I’ll look to showcase more great tips in the coming blogs, so keep an eye out!

Connecting With NetworkingJeanie

You can reach out to me at

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Jean Evans
Jean Evans
Jean Evans is an expert on all things networking. It is her passion, and one that is borne out of experience and plenty of trial and error, mistakes and mishaps. Through her blogs and social media channels, Jean shares tips, tricks, hacks and ideas on how to become an effective networker in business.

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