Every day, we guide members in their “warm connecting” with other members and people who have been identified as good connections. Warm connecting is a focused, effective way of networking. There are many ways to network but, for most of our members, warm connecting is the best because there is some thought about their business goals before we make that warm introduction — and the person who is introduced is known and will very likely be interested to meet the member.
This concept has become more and more important as time has passed, especially for more experienced networkers. Being thrown into a room of others is fine, but it’s typically inefficient without some sort of technology boost to “speed connect” with the people in your specific target. Our approach is to know who you are and what you’re looking for, and then make connections that make sense for all.
It doesn’t mean that every connection turns into a sale or even ends up successful, but chances are much better. So, when Vala Afshar recently posted 10 habits of good networkers, there was plenty of good info top pull from, but a few pieces missing.
First, BE CLEAR ON WHO YOU’RE LOOKING FOR. Walk into any situation with your target in mind, and, in addition to finding them, spend less time with those NOT in your target. Our goal is always to ask questions to find this out for you quickly. Knowing for whom you’re looking allows you to articulate clearly to others AND helps focus your time on those who, potentially, will be more beneficial.
Second, RESPOND PROMPTLY. That seems like a pretty easy idea, but too often warm introductions that we provide aren’t responded to for days and sometimes longer. That’s a sure way to fail — and it’s discouraging for the person making the introduction, too. When someone makes a warm introduction by phone or email, respond THAT DAY. Be prompt and clear in your response — don’t do a dump.
What’s a dump? You start out with your history from the VERY BEGINNING and, after a long story, the listener is left to figure out or guess what you’re looking for. Cut to the chase — what are you looking for? — say it up front. Provide highlights of what you or your company brings and use history to support the case, rather than lead with the history or story. Be efficient for the other person.
When we make warm intros, we make them with BOTH PARTIES in mind. That means we can expect there is a mutual benefit for the two of you to talk. You should always go into these meetings with how you can help THEM in mind in addition to how they can help you. That’s hard for many people to do, but our global tribe is actually pretty good at it; we all just need to be reminded sometimes.
Below are the full 12 tips. Keep in mind to be balanced in your approach. When you’re able to think in that balanced way of helping THEM, they will more likely be open to helping YOU.
12 Habits of Good Connectors
(#3-12 from Vala Afshar)
- Be clear on who you’re looking for.
- Respond consistently and promptly.
- Give without expecting a get.
- Choose kind over clever.
- Do not connect as a hobby.
- Connect like-minded.
- Share accurate content.
- Promote others’ good work.
- Consistently contribute.
- Do not respond to negativity.
- Value originality.
- Judge less.
Please keep these tips in mind and contact me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Bruhnke is CEO and founder of Global Chamber.
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