Who Will You Meet This Year
Make a list of key people you’d like to meet in your industry or profession. Determine what organizations, places, and people they go to and find ways to connect with them. Connect with someone you do know and ask if they would write a letter in your behalf and offer to save them the work by writing it first and asking for their comments and edits. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it. This is popular on Linked In.
Research tells us that there are at least two hundred people who are already a part of your network. Get reacquainted with them. Networking is about creating and developing opportunities through meeting and “connecting the dots” among the people you know. The following categories of people can be catalysts of opportunity for more strategic introductions.
- Clients. They are the lifeblood of your business. Build trustworthy and positive relationships.
- Centers of Influence (COI) and External Partners.Refer them and stay on their radar screen.
- Alumni and Former Classmates. Seize the opportunity to link in and focus on people who you might reconnect with. LinkedIn and Facebook are perfect for this.
- Like-minded People. Expand your horizons. Extracurricular activities with people who share a common interest and/or ambition, or who share similar life experiences.
- Neighbors. Turn a friendly wave into an invaluable conversation. Get to know your neighbors. You can open up the door for a new opportunity.
- Friends. Take time to nurture and cultivate your friends. Network with them in a positive way, never with expectations. Often they become extremely powerful referral sources. Just as you do for them.
- Family. They can be a great resource for networking opportunities. Think of how you can be helpful to those in your family. Who might have synergy with someone you know.
- People you meet serendipitously. Having a 24/7 awareness for the people you meet in everyday life. There really are no accidents!
Deepen the relationship with those you already know and start the process of becoming a strategic referral and introduction partner for each other. As you develop each relationship, each person may have a niche where you will introduce one rather than another. Keep track and realize this is a process that takes time. I always keep this question as a must when I am developing a relationship with a possible strategic partner: “How do I know when I am speaking to someone who could use your services?” Then I listen intently.