Jeffrey Gitomer is the man behind the quote: “It’s not who you know it’s who knows you.” He is also the most important source for networking aka connecting in America today. Go to gitomer.com for a mountain of evidence on why this man is so important to your success.
I have spent the past 5 years attending networking events around Northern California including: 8 city marketing associations; 5 chamber of commerce chapters, Women’s Council of Realtors; Women in Consulting, National Association of Women Business Owners; Silicon Valley Startup Entrepreneur’s Association; Women in Human Resources; National Association of Realtors; Inman Connect Conference, 6 Technology fairs; California Mortgage Brokers Association; and Independent Brokers Network meetings.
I estimate that I have attended, in that time frame, some 600 events and meetings. I believe I have met at least 1,800 people in my efforts.
I have met fewer than 10 individuals who have connected or networked in the correct manner—according to expert Gitomer. What is the correct manner or method to connecting and networking?
Principle #1 in Connecting: “Give First” rather than “ask for” first
Analysis: It sounds so simple yet it never seems to happen this way. The majority of people believe networking is about explaining what they do, who they represent, what their product-service is about, and how they can help you and the rest of the planet.
In reality those people give nothing, expect everything, rarely follow up, and are monumental “time wasters.” Simply put if you can’t do something for them they are not interested in providing value in return.
Principle #2 in Connecting: Help others get what they want as you are seeking what you want
Analysis: Although this is an old adage and delivered by countless people it still rings true today.
Have a plan for helping people you want to connect with while networking. Discounts off your product-services or introductory offers are NOT VALUABLE commodities that would create the perception that you add value to your connections.
What are the challenges facing your prospective customers in 2008?
What expertise do you have, contacts that you could provide, information that you could present that would truly make a positive impact on your prospective connection’s bottom line?
Once you answer those questions, you are on your way to building your networking efforts, connections, and one step closer to people knowing who you are!