It is often said that it’s not what you know, but who you know that counts. The mathematics support this argument, but the dilemma is how to successfully leverage these contacts, avoiding appearing sleazy and manipulative.
A lesson to be learnt from the best connected individuals is that little of their networking activity is carried out with any specific business goal in mind. They concentrate their effort on people they most like and who seem to like them right back. But connecting is not enough; it is vital to determine how well your contacts understand what you do and then how inspired they might be to provide a referral.
The chances of receiving a referral are greatly increased if they understand your business, understand exactly how you help people and solve their problems and have a high degree of trust. Seasoned networkers mostly make introductions on the basis that everyone gains real benefits, including the prospect of receiving referrals in return.
And while networking is primarily a face-to-face activity, on-line tools can greatly accelerate the process. LinkedIn is probably the best tailored for this purpose. Expert networkers maintain that successful networking should be genuinely selfless and altruistic, always giving referrals without remembering your simple favour, and receiving them without forgetting their kind gift. And if you wish to know how they prepare, join our “Network for Success” seminar, which we run regularly.