Maximising Your Networking Power by Understanding Networking Styles



Why is it that you meet some people at a networking function and seem to get along like you are old friends?

Why is it that you meet some other people who you can’t seem to find anything in common with and struggle to make conversation?

Research by the Referral Institute has shown that people tend to get along with people who are just like them.  If this is the case surely if we could identify people just like us, we would find it easier to do business with them.  If this is true, then another problem arises.  What do we do about the people we want to do business with who aren’t like us?

The good news is, that it is possible to do business with anyone, provided we make allowances for their particular behavioural style.  Not only that if we adapt our style to be a little more like those people who are different to us, we have a far greater chance of doing business with them.

As human beings we all have different behavioural styles and how we handle ourselves at networking functions depends on one of four different styles.

The four styles are:

  • Go Getter
  • Promoter
  • Nurturer
  • Examiner

Lets look at each in detail to understand how to get along better with people just like us, or people who are nothing like us.

Go Getters

Go Getters are hustling, enterprising people who make things happen.  They go to a networking function with a clear purpose or goal.  Go Getters are often described as achievers, self-starters, doers, high fliers, or live wires.  They tend to be on the move, making quick decisions about the people they are talking to, typically act confidently and successfully, and approach a networking function as a chance to gain business!


Promoters are typically an active supporter, someone who urges the adoption of, or attempts to sell or popularise someone or something.   They are often referred to as being an advocate, supporter or influencer.  Promoters tend to use their voice and influence others with what they have to say.  They can be very smiley and positive people, and approach a networking function as a more social event – a way to catch up with friends and meet new people. However, business is not necessarily the key reason for attending!


Nurturers are people who give tender care and protection to a person or thing especially to help it grow or develop.  They like to encourage, and foster the growth of relationships.  Nurturers tend to want to make other people feel comfortable.  They are concerned with other people’s feelings, are very approachable, and do not feel like they have to be the center of attention. They are interested in seeing people that they have relationships with and deepening that relationship, along with meeting a few new people who are down to earth, nice, and not too aggressive.


Examiners like to inspect or analyse a person, place or thing in detail, to test the knowledge or skills by asking questions.  They can be described as an auditor, inspector, surveyor or assessor.  Examiners tend to be more reserved and systems oriented.  They are typically not extremely social people and would rather be working versus socialising with a large group of people they may not know. Their whole goal for a networking function is to complete the task of attending, meet 1-3 new people who may have been pre-selected, conduct any other tasks necessary, and then leave normally before the event is over so they may get back to work.

Identifying The Four Networking Styles

Now that you understand the four basic styles you can adapt your behaviour to relate to those who are different to you.  Of course if you want more information, your local Referral Institute trainer will be happy to help.

Article written by the Lindsay Adams National Director of the Referral Institue

Lindsay Adams National Director, Referral Institute The Referral Institute is a training and consulting company that specializes in working with business owners and sales people to help them develop referral their marketing vision, plans and goals, before they go to BNI to take action.  Find out more at www.referralinstitute.com.au or email Lindsay directly at Lindsay.adams@referralinstitute.com.au 

Categories : Networking

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