Are you someone whom people run to when they need to be introduced to relevant people? If you are, you are most likely classified as a “connector.”
Connectors typically know a lot of people and make a regular practice of introducing their connections to others. In business, making introductions is one of the best ways to build a strong professional network. They help people expand their network, and while doing so, endear themselves to the people they help.
Here are 3 ways you can be the person people seek – the secret weapon in their arsenal of contacts.
Talk to lots of people
In order to be a connector, you really have to talk to lots of people. This means getting rid of your social inhibitions. Talk to people even when waiting in a queue – or while mindlessly doing something which is otherwise a normal part of your daily routine. It doesn’t mean you get into deep meaningful conversations with everybody, but by talking to lots of people you get into the habit of being a very social person. As you speak with people, you may discover possible connections you can bridge – people who know someone you know, but are searching for ways to reconnect… or you chance upon someone you may be able to help through a referral.It’s rewarding for you on a personal level to be a catalyst for a potentially beneficial relationship and connect two people who otherwise may have never come into contact.
Making introductions is a great way to be helpful to your contacts. Being helpful and leading with value is a highly effective way to build a network. There are many ways to be helpful, but making introductions is often one of the best. Just make sure all introductions should be beneficial to both parties. If the introduction benefits both parties, then both parties get stronger. When two parties in your network get stronger, your network gets stronger, and therefore you get stronger. Enhancing your existing network needs to be balanced with forming new relationships.
According to the law of reciprocity, in response to helpful actions, people feel more inclined to be helpful in return. By making introductions, you put yourself in position to receive more introductions.
Give instead of get
One of the biggest networking mistakes people seem to make is trying to get something from everybody they meet. Try to assess yourself – are you the type who is identified as taking without giving – a person who has no genuine interest in the people they are talking to and someone who seems to be looking for somebody more important to talk to? There’s a law of reciprocation where people feel that they should help people who help them, so you’re definitely better off giving instead of trying to get. You should always make sure you give with no expectation of anything in return.Remember that the key to success is generosity. The currency of real networking is not greed – but kindness.