Shake hands with me, shake hands with my network

Shake hands with me, shake hands with my network

Here’s a subtle but important thing to remember about why it’s important to continue to grow your network: you are not only meeting someone for the first time, but you are potentially meeting their entire network.

So, if you meet one person, and they know 300 people, you are also potentially meeting those 300 people in that very same meeting.

I say potentially, because if you don’t take the time to prepare and don’t genuinely take an interest in them, they become the gatekeeper that filters you out from their network.

Even if someone that you meet (at a networking event, in a grocery line, at school waiting to pick up your kids, etc) may not directly be a customer of yours, they likely have a network of people that they can introduce you to.

I have a large network of contacts, and can likely make intro’s and connections for business opportunities, synergistic alliances, or if nothing else, share resources and provide contacts to trusted service providers.  But I’ll only do so if the following conditions are met:

  1. Don’t pitch me or ask me to refer people to you in the first 5 minutes of our conversation
  2. Be a real human being and taking an interest in us getting to know each other (If you don’t make an effort to get to know me, I won’t make an effort to get to know you)
  3. Be able to explain what you do, clearly (I can’t introduce you to my contacts if I’m confused about what you offer)
  4. Explain who your ideal clients are (If you don’t know, then I don’t know either)
  5. Take intro’s seriously and follow up promptly and courteously

How often are you writing someone off because they don’t seem like a potential client immediately?  Remember that your ideal client might just be one introduction away from someone that you’ve met.

 

 

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