Networking like the Godfather – A business English text

A great text to practice your Business English and learn something about networking. The Godfather is an amazing movie, and there’s so much you can learn from it, including for business. Check this article about what you can learn about networking from the Corleone family.

By Brian Panichelle

the-godfather-1Many people are familiar with the Godfather Trilogy. The movies show up on almost everybody’s “Top Ten Lists”. Most people enjoy the movies for their action and suspense. However, businessmen like us can enjoy them as instructive examples of successful networking. I submit to you that the Godfather was one of the best networkers ever! I would like to point out three specific things we can learn from the Godfather-Generosity, Sincerity and Frequent Contact.

The first thing that set the Godfather apart was his generosity. People in the neighborhood knew that they could go to him when they needed a favor. He supported the businesses in the neighborhood with his patronage. He would offer to help when the business was in trouble, via loans, or entering into a partnership and providing financial backing. He gave plentifully to the church and to his friends and family. In fact he often made people offers that they could not refuse. When networking don’t make everything about you, but be sincere and give generously to your network partners.

Secondly, he was sincere: when the Godfather made a statement about what he was going to do, people took him at his word. They new that he could be trusted to do what he said he would do. He was sincere in his interest in seeing people succeed. He understood that when they made money, he made money. There was no competition, just opportunities for collaboration. He worked with others to make everybody profitable.

Thirdly, he was great at follow up and keeping in contact. Even if the Godfather was not personally walking into the neighborhood businesses and homes, his employees often were. He knew what was going on in the lives of the people in the neighborhood. He knew their trials and successes and was always in contact with them. It is difficult to be sincere with people if you are not regularly in contact with them. Make sure that you are not neglecting your relationships with your referral partners. Keep in touch with them, find out what is going on in their lives and take action to show you care. See how you can be of help.

These activities will heighten your visibility and credibility in your networks. The Godfather did not take out advertisements about his business or run propaganda campaigns about how great a guy he was. Yet people knew who he was. His reputation preceded him. Make sure that you are sending the right message in what you do. Your actions will speak louder than your words. Be active in your groups, be helpful to the members of the group. If you are just there to take from them, that is the message that will spread. This is a reputation that most of us do not want to precede us. We want people to want to meet us. This can only be accomplished if we take care of people-sincerely, generously and often.

So as you evaluate your networking, ask yourself, are you being sincere and generous often? These three things will allow you to have a network as powerful as the Godfather’s.

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