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How to be magnetic

Did you know that your body is made up of billions of tiny magnets? The electrons spinning around inside every atom create a magnetic field. Tapping into this field is how MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) works. Applied effectively, magnetism is incredibly powerful.

We all know what it means when someone has a “magnetic personality.” They are the center of attention in meetings — the people who walk into a room and exude energy, with people practically lined up wanting to connect with them.

What if you could tap into some of that magnetism to grow your business? The good news is you can. Here are some tips to get you started.

Be ready to engage

Magnetic people are ready at all times to engage in a networking discussion. They don’t have “on” or “off” moments and they don’t need time to prepare or a need to plan their approach. They’re just ready. It means knowing your competitive advantage to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack. It means being alert for opportunities — especially opportunities to help others. It means listening more than talking.

Focus on common points of interest

Look for areas of common interest in every discussion. This lets you connect with the other person. It can be something you share in terms of activities you like to do, something you have in common from your background, your career, family, your network, or just a shared appreciation of some aspect of business. For example, you might notice in conversation that the other person has the same view of the value of referral marketing that you have.

Make it easy to communicate

Magnetic people are easy to talk to. They make themselves accessible. Look alert and approachable. Don’t fold your arms when talking. In networking meetings, stand so that there is a place for others to join in on the discussion. Keep your door open at the office as much as possible. Look at people in the eyes with a friendly smile so that they know you’re open for conversation.

Always have business cards

An old Western TV show made a big deal out of the impact of a simple business card. The show, entitled “Have Gun, Will Travel,” starred Richard Boone as a sophisticated gunfighter named Paladin, who would flash his surprisingly simple business card featuring a chess piece as his logo. To reach him, you just had to “wire Paladin” in San Francisco. In each episode, he would show his business card at some point. When he did, a dramatic score would play, and people would instantly know what his business was all about.

Make your business card memorable and give it out as often as possible. Keep the information it contains simple so that it doesn’t overwhelm people. For example, don’t list a dozen phone numbers even if they all do reach you. People won’t know which one to use. Instead, just list the best one, with perhaps one additional alternate number like your toll-free line.

Radiate positive energy

In the world of magnets, similar polarity repels. But in the world of people, negative people attract negatives and positive people attract other positive types. So stay positive at all times. Don’t get drawn into the negativity of those who are complaining and criticizing others. Your positive energy will attract others who have similar positive energy and your sphere of influence will grow increasingly powerful.

As a young man I worked as a sales rep for one of the world’s largest business machine brands. Shortly after I started, I was asked to join a group of other salesmen who got together regularly after work in a nearby pub. I soon noticed that they did little more than spend the evening complaining about the company they worked for. There’s no value in this! I quickly distanced myself from that group and connected with more positive sales people. My sales increased and I gained status by associating with the best.

Give honest encouragement and appreciation

There’s power in encouragement. People get so little of it that when someone takes time to encourage them and appreciate the little things, they are automatically drawn to that person. This isn’t the same as flattery, which is a false praise. Be sincere, but look for things others are doing well. Even when they make mistakes, turn it into something positive.

In the autobiography “Forever Flying,” test pilot Bob Hoover recounts a time when his P-51 Mustang crashed during an air show because someone had used the wrong type of fuel. He sought out the person who made the mistake and asked them to be the first to fill his fuel tanks after the precious Mustang was repaired. There’s no doubt that he made a friend for life and encouraged that young man beyond words with that simple thoughtful act.

Wear your name tag

Author Scott Ginsberg, known as the “Name Tag Guy,” believes one of the most effective ways to become a networking powerhouse is to wear a name tag at all times. At the very least, you’ll be noticed. Never be afraid of putting on a name tag, but wear it proudly. Making it easy for people to call you by name means they’re more likely to remember your name, even after the event is over.

Make these simple guidelines part of your way of life and you’ll find yourself increasingly sought out as someone people want to associate with in every networking environment.

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How to be magnetic

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