It’s all about who you know... so who do you know?
You may be familiar with the concept that we are all connected by 6 degrees - the concept that any person on the planet is no more than 5 relationships removed from you. Taking it a step further, there are many that argue with the advent of social media, we are all “connected” by two or less degrees. So why is this even important?
If you are wanting to grow your business, grow your career and take your life to the next level, the ability to connect with others is an intrinsic part of the process. Having the interpersonal skills to engage with others in social, personal and business settings will result in growth and success. Without these skills, you may often be left with feeling alone, complaining about the inability to make quality connections and angst as to where their next sale or team member is going to come from.
The more time and energy you put into your interpersonal skills and your willingness to connect with others will have a compounding effect on your life.
Unfortunately, for many reasons, people do not take the initiative to build these relationships - fear of rejection, lack of comfort around what to say, inability to find opportunities to connect and feelings of uncomfort around networking situations.
There is nothing wrong with having these obstacles and the question is what can you do to overcome them and improve your connectability. A few key steps to really take yourself to the next level include:
Understand your 10 second pitch. If someone were to ask you what you do, are you able to tell them? More importantly are you able to share something in 10 seconds that would leave them feeling engaged and interested to learn more about who you are, what you do and why you do it?
Have a 30 second commercial. If someone wanted to talk with you about what you do, could you in 30 seconds or less, the length of most elevator rides, share with another person what you do? I am sure you have a lot you want to say, learn to keep it short.
Do you have industry knowledge or expertise that you can utilize to have conversations with other like-minded people on issues that concern your industry or marketplace?
AVOID POLITICS AND RELIGION (and sometime even sports)
Be prepared to listen - most people love to talk and often spend the conversation worrying about what they are going to say next. Stay present to the conversation and listen to the last word the other party says.
Always have a way to create value for someone else - is there an event you can invite them to? Is there information or an article you can email them? Is there an introduction you can make? Is there a resource or tool you have found valuable that you can share?
How do you follow up with the people you meet? It is easy to get a business card, it is what you do on the next 5-7 touch points with the contact who gave you the card will make all the difference.
Take the time to practice your body language and tone when you speak, they make up 93% of the listening of others. How you carry yourself and the tone with which you speak is very important.
Last, but certainly not least, is to take the time to invest in learning. It is important you learn about how to talk with different personality types. Whether you understand how to recognize a DISC profile or you understand personality types based on a circumplex, ultimately if you can identify key markers for who the person is, how they think and what makes them tick, your ability to communicate with them will improve dramatically.
One thing is for certain, if you take the time to build quality relationships and provide value to these relationships, over time your social capital will grow. With the growth will be your success both personally and professionally.
Networking - it is all about who you know . . . so who do you know?