So, how can you make the most of the connections you already have? The secret to success is being a good power connector. The four phases of the power-connecting system include preparation, targeting, reconnecting, and connecting your connections.
You examine where you are now and where you want to go during the planning phase, and then design a strategy to get there. Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished in your career and personal life, and then sort it into ecosystems. You may create a “academic” category if you went to business school, for example.
Make a second list with all of your contacts and use the 5+50+100 rule to rate them. Facebook, LinkedIn, and your address book can all help you come up with list ideas. But don’t forget about your mechanic or the barista at Starbucks! Make your list as detailed as possible to get a complete picture.
So, after you’ve structured your skills and relationships, what’s next? You select a target – someone with whom you want to connect – and prepare for your first meeting with them in the second phase. During the contact, there are precise ground rules that must be followed.
First, dress for the occasion, whether it’s a business meeting or a meeting with a sports trainer. Always keep in mind that quality can be seen. Investing in quality clothing is worthwhile. Compliments on jewelry or ties can be effective icebreakers, especially if you are wearing them yourself.
Follow the Marriott 15/5 guideline when it comes to initiating contact. A Marriott Hotel staff is required to acknowledge a visitor with eye contact and a pleasant nod whenever they are within 15 feet of her. He should grin and meet her within five feet.
It’s time to start thinking about phases three and four once you’ve established contact with your target. Assume you’ve just finished a meeting with the CEO of your favorite company and are about to leave her office. You and lady had a fascinating and nice talk, and she even provided you her contact information. You’re in a terrific mood, but what should you do now? How can you make this link a permanent part of your strategic network?
It’s time to re-establish contact. But there’s a race against the clock! It’s critical to get back in touch within 24 hours. Why? Because it demonstrates that you care and are an expert communicator. It may be as simple as sending an email. Simply express your gratitude for the enjoyable discussion, provide value by presenting them with something they’ll undoubtedly find interesting (such as a news item or similar), and inform them about your profession so they know how they may assist you.
Make it a point to show that you care about the tiny things in your relationships. A simple “How are you doing?” can be worth more than 100 fancy business relationships if you know a personal acquaintance is going through a difficult moment.
The final step in power connecting is to add value to your new connection by introducing them to the relevant individuals in your network. To put it another way, you connect your dots for the larger benefit.
The idea is to create power triangles in which a power connector helps a number of individuals, including himself. Consider Marie, a power connector, attending a tech conference with her software engineer buddy Claudia. Claudia connects Marie to Annette, the director of a coding school.
Annette happens to be seeking for a speaker for another programming conference, and Marie immediately thinks of Eric, a talented C++ programmer, and connects him with Annette. Marie has helped Eric connect with a number of young programmers, assisted Annette in finding a speaker, and added Annette to her network as a result of her efforts. Everyone comes out on top!
How many LinkedIn or Xing contacts do you have? On Facebook or Twitter, how many people are you associated with? It has never been easier to stay in touch with others in this digital age. However, there are some considerations to make when using social media.
The beautiful thing about social networking sites and email is that you can reach out to folks you’d never meet in person otherwise, strengthening your network in the process. It was thanks to this technology that a 12-year-old business student was able to ask Richard Branson, the famed business entrepreneur, for advice.
Making introductions through LinkedIn is not only convenient, but it may also improve your power circle by extending your network’s interconnection. However, be cautious when making introductions. Always double-check that the people you wish to connect with are a suitable match and that their connection will benefit them both.
It’s also crucial to consider the benefits and drawbacks of various social media platforms and email. A decent subject line, for example, makes it easy to address someone via email. A heading like “Re: We met at conference X – here’s the crowdfunding information you requested” is wonderful because it gives them immediate context for who you are, why you’re writing them, why it’s essential to them, and why reading this email isn’t a waste of their time.
Twitter, on the other hand, allows you to connect with expert strangers, or people you don’t know but who are experts in fields that are relevant to you. You can start a conversation with them by following them on Twitter, retweeting their tweets, and asking intelligent questions or posting things that they might be interested in.
While social networking is simple and handy, remember that nothing beats face-to-face communication. Women and men are different, and this is no different in the economic world. Here are three ways that women can take to improve their ability to connect with power.
To begin, carefully connect in every direction feasible. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of support for young female leaders. You’ll have to be proactive in seeking help as a woman. Kay Koplovitz, the president of a television network and the founder of Springboard, advises cultivating relationships with superiors you respect. To develop a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship, offer your assistance, supply knowledge, and add value for him or her.
Second, speak out for yourself, but in a kind manner. Women frequently have difficulty communicating their goals to others. Despite the fact that they are natural networkers, they rarely make the most of their resources.
The greatest approach to do this is to be “relentlessly lovely,” a word popularized by Mary Sue Coleman, the president of the University of Michigan. “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” as the adage goes.
Finally, make it a point to aid other ladies by offering your assistance and your good name. It’s critical to “pay it forward,” so to speak, and insist on other women’s success. This is not only the proper thing to do, but it also aids in the growth and strengthening of your network.
You may even form your own stiletto network, which is a group of women who actively assist one another in achieving their goals. You may get closer to attaining your own job goals with some smart maneuvering and a dedication to helping other women succeed.
Modern business is complex, and you can’t do it all on your own. To achieve your objectives, you’ll need to build a strong network of people who are eager to assist you in getting where you need to go.
Coming out of your shell is the most important lesson I learned from the book How to be a Power Connector. It can be scary to be in a huge group of people. Acting as if will help you overcome your shyness the next time you feel uncomfortable and bashful. Act as if you’re a super-confident person who anyone would like to chat to. Always keep in mind that the person you’re speaking with may be just as shy as you are!
Check out my related post: How do you find your how to your why?