Are you struggling to find ways to create value for the people in your network?
What if there was a way to create value for not just one but many people in your network at the same time?
Let me show you a networking strategy that has been proven to be highly effective for me and my clients.
Important: It may be that you have people in your network who drain your energy instead of energizing & inspiring you. If this is the case, you need to solve that problem first by developing your Red Velvet Rope Policy and applying it to the people you have in your network.
Work through the Communication Excellence Workbook first, if you are in that situation.
Share Who You Know
This basically means that you connect the people in your network with each other.
By introducing people to each other in your network, you not only tighten the relationships between you and one person, but between a group of people. It can be as few as you and two other people and as many as your entire network that gets together at an event.
When you connect people in your network, many things can happen as a result. Maybe people do business together, maybe they become friends and maybe, some will get married.
I see the first two happen when I introduce people to each other all the time. One of my best friends is more of an expert on the third result.
I have recently talked to a potential coaching client who was a TEDx organizer in Switzerland last year. Because I mentioned that I would love to speak at a TEDx, she introduced me to 2 other TEDx organizers in Switzerland.
She immediately thought about connecting me with them when I mentioned my dream of speaking at a TEDx event some day.
Last week, I talked to another potential coaching client who told me a major passion in his life is cooking. That immediately reminded me of a women who is organizing catering and party service for expats in Basel. I told him to get in contact with her.
How many opportunities do you miss every day to introduce people to each other in your network?
How to Know Which People to Introduce to Each Other
It was very hard for me in the beginning to come up with people in my network to introduce to each other. Starting is always hard.
Think about two different areas in people’s life.
1. Professional Life
Who could potentially do business with each other?
Who could add value to each other’s business life?
Who shares common business interests?
Who serves the same or a similar target market with different services?
2. Overall Life
Who shares similar hobbies or interests?
Who is in similar life situations? (New parents, new business owners, etc.)
Who could potentially become great friends?
Who shares similar values?
Who shares similar qualities & characteristics?
Every day, find 2 people you can connect with each other based on the questions above.
You may think that’s a lot and you are right. It requires a lot of thinking and asking.
Maybe you first need to get to know the people in your network better before you can make introductions. If so, reach out to every single person you want to get to know better and ask them questions that in return help you answer the questions above.
However, don’t wait for perfect. You can always know more. More is not the answer, enough is.
Connect some people if you feel that a mutually beneficial relationship can happen as a result, even if you feel uncomfortable. Going out of your comfort zone is a major ingredient in the recipe for success.
Over time, it becomes a habit.
How to Make Introductions
Here are three examples of how you can introduce people to each other. I use Contactually to make this as easy as possible for me.
“Hi Paul, I have met Mara last week at a workshop and I want to introduce you to her. Mara is an inspiring women who has built her own business over the past years where she is helping English speakers in Switzerland become more confident.
Hi Mara, I told you about Paul and I’d like to introduce you to him. Paul is originally from the U.S., just like you, and he loves cooking about as much as you do.
You should get to know each other.
Here are Mara’s contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are Paul’s contact details: email@example.com
“Hi Gareth, I’d like to introduce you to Michael. Michael is a great public speaker and he loves talking about mobile technology and social media.
Hi Michael, I’d like to introduce you to Gareth. Gareth is organizing the yearly Global Mobile Leaders Conference in Zurich and is always looking for inspiring and energizing speakers.
You two should get to know each other.
Here are Gareth’s contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are Michael’s contact details: email@example.com
“Hi Sarah, I’d like to introduce you to Monica. Monica is a business coach and every time I talk to her, one theme stands out in our conversation, “relationships”.
Hi Monica, I’d like to introduce you to Sarah. Sarah is the community manager at the Professional Women Community and guess what, every time we talk, the theme “relationships” comes up.
I have the feeling that the two of you would get along great.
You should get to know each other.
Here are Monica’s contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are Sarah’s contact details: email@example.com
How to Implement the “Share Who You Know” Strategy
Now that you know how it works, it’s time to implement it. Results don’t come from reading this article, they come from doing the hard work of implementing.
Most of the time, the problem is not that we don’t know what to do or how to do it, but that we don’t actually do it.
1. Make a List of 5 People Who Always Support You
List the people in your network who always help you out. Pick the ones who always lend you a hand, no matter what. It’s time to pay them back by introducing them to somebody else in your network.
2. Make a List of 5 People Who Could Add Value
Now, brainstorm 5 other people in your network who could add value to the life or work of the people who always support you. Remember, the potential relationship has to be mutually beneficial.
3. Make the Introduction
This is where you get into action mode and out of your comfort zone. It’s the step that separates the ones who commit and will eventually be successful and the ones who say “This is ways out of my comfort zone” and “I will do it next week”.
Take action now and show that you are a leader instead of a victim of procrastination.
4. Turn Step 1-3 Into a Habit
Go into your calendar and block 30-60 minutes every week or 15 minutes every day over the next 90 days. This time slot is sacred and exclusively used to make introductions.
What you will see as a result is not only the great things that happen in your network but also that introducing people to each other becomes a habit. Eventually, you won’t need to schedule the time anymore because you will make the introductions every time you meet somebody new.
I naturally introduce around 5-10 people in my network every week, just because I meet somebody new and immediately think of one or two people I can introduce them to.
Just remember that I did not start out that way. I struggled with not knowing who to introduce to each other and even more with getting out of my comfort zone to do so.
Then, I made the decision to expand my comfort zone and just started.
What separates you from the 90% who read this article, gently nod and then move on, is the decision to succeed and then make the first step towards it.
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