With next week being “International Networking Week” — the brainchild of my friend, Dr. Ivan Misner, founder of BNI, the world’s largest referral organization, I thought it would be fitting to share just one method of relationship-building.
As usual — and typical of true Networking, it is “other-focused” meaning that we take our eyes off of ourselves and instead focus on how to best add value to others.
Superstar networkers have certain trademarks in common and one of those is that, during business events, parties, get-togethers, etc., they are constantly introducing people to each other. In other words, they “play the host; not the guest.” The benefits of doing this can be big.
Whenever you’re in a situation where you can introduce people to each other, by all means, do so. Someone at an event may be too bashful to go right up and introduce himself or herself to people they don’t know. So do it for them, and with style.
And, even if they’re not bashful, it just might not be something they naturally do. So, do it for them. Go out of your way to introduce people who might be of mutual benefit to each other.
Tell each person what the other does for a living and highlight a couple of their personal interests. Even suggest ways they could do business with each other.
This is a very simple and easy way to begin the process of “adding value” to those new people with whom you’d like to develop a Networking relationship.
After receiving a large referral from someone I met only once, I asked why he thought of me. He replied that he had attended a meeting of an association to which I belong. It was his first time there and while everyone else practically ignored him, I made him feel like part of the crowd, introducing him around and making sure he was always involved in the conversation.
Little things like that get noticed and definitely help you in the sales process, or for that matter, any type of business or social situation.
And, of course, you can do this online, as well. Keep in mind, however, that different people prefer to be introduced different ways. Some are very happy with unannounced mutual email introductions. Others are not, so be sure you find out which they prefer and honor that. Otherwise, though you think you’re adding value to them, you might be doing just the opposite.
In a sense, it comes down to Law #3 of The Go-Giver, The Law of Influence which says, “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you put other people’s interests first.” Please don’t think of this as being self-sacrificial or martyrish; it has nothing to do with that.
It simply means that you focus on adding value to the lives of others, knowing that — as you do this constantly and consistently mdash; you’ll develop an enormous number of quality “know, like and trust” relationships and, as such, your own needs will be well taken care of.
By he way, check out Dr. Misner’s important video with some excellent advice regarding today’s “challenging” economic times and how you can overcome them.
Till next time, my friends.