Many conversations I’ve had recently on the topic of face-to-face networking have revolved around the idea of working with those that “get it.” It makes good business sense to focus building your relationships with those that have the most potential. This potential isn’t merely in sales, but also in some other areas as well.

The behaviors of someone who “gets it” are simple, and recurring throughout nearly every industry and profession. Simply, there are people that get it in every type of work out there. There are a few requirements to be someone who get’s it though. First, it is helpful to define “it.”

The “it” is the point or the purpose or the method of conducting business. It is the essence beneath the surface. The “it” is an understanding of the unwritten rules of the game.

The good news is that the unwritten rules are usually the same across all industries, professions, and roles.

  1. Unwritten Rule: Businesses run by the numbers, but individual behavior does not – There are very few situations where a direct action yields a direct result. Such situations are simple, are often defined by law.The large majority of human behavior is too complex for simple cause and effect discussions. What this means is – behavior trends yield results – individual behaviors in isolation do not. For example: Cultivate relationships, yield the benefit. Expect sales from strangers and be disappointed.Don’t expect a single gesture to reverse a trend or change opinions.

    When you meet someone who doesn’t understand this, they will often expect one small sacrifice to outweigh a pattern of abuse. They might also give up quickly when results aren’t immediate – expecting instant results from one single action.
  2. Unwritten Rule: Givers Gain – It is the motto of Business Networking International (BNI) but before that it was built into our culture through religious and spiritual texts. The sages understood even thousands of years ago, that cultivating a giving nature yields positive results.The idea of givers gain, by extension eliminates win-lose scenarios and inspires us to search for win-win opportunities.

    When you meet someone who doesn’t understand this, they are act as if they have to coerce behaviors from others. They have a wall between them an the world an there is a definite price in order to get through the wall.  They may not give socially of their time, or make themselves available emotionally either.
  3. Unwritten Rule: Opportunity is Everywhere – This is, quite honestly, the inverse of the Givers Gain philosophy. Make yourself available to receive opportunities and you simply can not go wrong.

    When you meet someone who doesn’t understand this, they talk constantly of regret. “I should have done this.” “I wish I did that.” The people who can’t see opportunity, often don’t want to see it because it is frightening.

  4. Unwritten Rule: Fear is an illusion – Fear is one of the biggest issues that prevents us from experiencing a full and meaningful life. Fear is the gravity that anchors the status-quo.

    When you meet someone who doesn’t understand this, they let fear prevent them from capitalizing on opportunity, and they often use circumstances or “victim speech” to explain their current state.

  5. Unwritten Rule:Action drives results – One must take action and follow up in order to see results. The hidden secret behind Woody Allen’s famous quote “80% of success is just showing up” is the showing up part – and all the actions leading up to it.The other side is the follow up – almost worthy of calling out all it’s own: the value of following up is tremendous. It makes people feel sought after, and by the very nature of how infrequent it is, instantly sets you apart from the crowd.

    When you meet someone who doesn’t understand this, they are full of idle promises and wishes. They talk about these things all the time, often changing them completely from one day to the next. They are intoxicated by their own thoughts and afraid to commit to the hard work of making them a reality.

  6. Unwritten Rule:Attitude is a product of actions – not thoughts. You can’t simply think your way into a good attitude. You need to take actions to make it happen. For many it is getting some work started or completed, for others it may be giving or receiving positive feedback. A colleague of mine has a file of all the nice things ever said about her – a file she can read when her attitude is less than 150%.

    When you meet someone who doesn’t understand this, they make everyone pay for their negativity. Their attitude spreads like a virus among the people they talk to. People with a chronically negative attitude may have fewer close friends, or business contacts – after all, who want’s to be near the naysayer?

If you do find yourself lucky enough to meet someone who “get’s it” be sure to keep them in your network they are a relationship worth cultivating. Build a group or find one to bring together such people and never let them go.

Not sure if you “get it?” ask a friend to tell you where you are on each of the elements above. They might be able to tell you the things you already knew but didn’t want to discuss.

As always, look online for helpful resources to learn how to “get it.”