Networking is hard, intimidating and an energy suck. So how do you find the people that are "the right people" when you network without wasting your time? How do you keep that relationship going without losing it to an email black hole? At Six Degrees Society, as a networking group, we handpick who you meet while networking, making it as easy as possible to make a quality connection. Unfortunately not all networking situations are created equal. Below are my 5 hacks in making quality connections with the right people in any situation.
1. Define the "Right People" and change your perspective:
Instead of getting caught up on finding the right person, make everyone the "right" person. If you are trying to find a fix to your problem then explain your problem on a personal level and that person might be able to help and point you in the direction. They might even point you to another person if they aren't able to help you themselves.
2. What goes around comes around:
Instead of seeking out what you can gain from a connection, see what you can add to a connection. Figure out how you can help that person and be the one connecting them to someone. I always like to ask "How can I help you?"
3. Get creative with your follow up:
Finding a time to sync up is super challenging. My suggestion is to find a common interest while chatting. Do they work out? Do they love coffee? Do they love an artisanal cocktail? Plan your follow up meeting right then and there. Make the move and suggest a cool morning workout, new coffee spot or chic bar.
4. Come to them:
It's so important to let that person know you value their time. Send through a calendar invite, show them that you are serious about meeting. Get to the space early, save a table. If you invited them make sure to pick up the check. Make the meeting work for them in timing, convenience and experience.
5. Nurture your relationship:
Rome wasn't built in a day, nor does business happen over night. It's important to remember the follow up and to humanize yourself. People want to work with other like minded individuals. Ask about their kids, their trip and how they are before you chat business. If you have time on your commute send them an article that reminds you of your first meeting, a thoughtful email about your meeting or just a friendly check in.