Five Keys to Cross-Pollination Networking

networking

One of the greatest failures of all times for success will be the failure to connect properly to the right people. You are literally only six degrees of separation from the greatest doors being open. Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.

If you do not develop adequate networking skills, you are destined to stay unfulfilled in the current state you are in! Pollination is the transfer of pollen (stimuli) from one stem to another that is critical for reproduction.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself concerning your current connections as well as the ones you want to attract:

  • Can you be trusted with new connections based on how you are cultivating your current ones?
  • Have you prepared yourself for the types of people in which you want to meet?
  • How will you infect/affect the people you meet?

When you think about how you market yourself, are you a grappling hook or a magnet?

A grapnel is a clawed, anchor-like hook used in seizing, holding or dragging. One of its original uses was during sea battles to hold an enemy ship for boarding. The thought of this evokes a feeling of being controlled in order to achieve a hostile objective.networking

On the other hand, a magnet only works with objects that are naturally drawn to it. It cannot hold on to anything that does not have the proper make-up to be attracted to its magnetic field. It cannot “seize and hold” an object that is not the right match for its purpose.

If you are being a grappling hook, you feel the need to grab and drag people into your purpose. This means you are desperate to hold on to prospects or clients.

If you are being a magnet, you are attracting the people who are drawn to you. You are being authentic and making the choice to connect with people who are the best fit for you. You are able to let go of those who are not the right match for you.

Networking is something that we all have to do, many hate doing it and others just do not know how to do it. People tend to be intimidated when they walk into a room of strangers with a hand full of business cards; they do not know who to talk to first, don’t have any idea of what they want out of the experience and most importantly, do not know what the other person is after. It boils down to knowing your audience and knowing how you can deliver what they REALLY want. Realistically, everybody has a need that they want to be filled. Here are a few points to remember as you go to your next networking event:

  1.  The real purpose of networking is not to make you best friends with someone. It is to introduce another level of service and resources. So take it slow and respectful and utilize boundaries. Do not approach the other person as if you grew up together.
  2.  You must be able to communicate your own business: When you are asked the question, “What do you do?” they are really asking “Why should I care?” People could care less about your mission statement or projections; they only care about what you can do for their business. Since you know this is coming practice your answer before you get there.
  3.  Do not become cannibalistic: The “man-eater” has a pocket full of everyone’s cards and stalks them until they refuse their phone calls. Do not enter the event drooling at the mouth. People avoid people who seem too hyped. So relax and enjoy meeting new business people.
  4.  People are usually in business for profit. It is called (WIFM) or “What’s in it for me?” When you connect with a person, show them the true value or benefit of connecting with you before asking for a referral. Then with confidence, you can ask them to refer you to their friends and family. You have to develop credibility FIRST!
  5.  Do not always be the friend in need and never in deed: This is the ultimate turn-off! Instead of calling to ask for things, try calling with an offer, a gift, or even to let them know you got a hot tip from an email they may be able to benefit from. Your reputation will grow as a barter, and then your phone will start to ring.

I am sure you have heard the statement, “It is not what you know, but who you know.” Why? Because networking equals cross-pollination! You can do bad all by yourself or you can connect to a dream team and create wealth and secure unlimited success – the choice is yours.

Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)

Sources:

David Pleacher:  Six Degrees of Separation
Liberty Voice:  New Study Shows That Selfish Traits Are Not Favored by Evolution

Photo Credits:

Top Image Courtesy of PRSA-National’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inline Image Courtesy of Greentech Media’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of Eirik Solheim’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License