Listen As We Break Down These 10 Steps
I used to struggle with meeting new people. It was very uncomfortable for me.
As someone who was in operations and tech development for financial advisors and after focusing heavily and ridding myself of people who didn’t bring me up, it was a challenge to make new friends and business acquaintances.
Now, it’s second nature. I absolutely LOVE it! And… I’m great at it!
Establishing relationships is one of the most important things you can do for yourself in your personal, professional, and business growth.
Did you know that well-connected people tend to live longer than those who spend their lives in solidarity?
Don’t believe me? Check out this video of Susan Pinker’s TEDx Talk about the secret to living longer.
The secret to living longer may be your social life – by Susan Pinker
These tips are practical but incredibly helpful ways to build a community of people who know you, like you, and trust you to the point where they will support you, do business with you, and spend time with you.
By following these tips, you may improve your odds of a happier, healthier, longer life. 💫 🦄 🚀
1. Memorize their name
This comes before the introduction because you MUST go into your first interaction with someone with the intention to remember their name. If you forget it, you’ll miss a golden opportunity to express genuine care and respect for who they are and what they told you… their name.
How can you do this?
When they tell you their name, repeat it (3x minimum).
For example: When Bob says, “Hi, my name is Bob!” You say, “Hi Bob, it’s great to meet you, Bob!”
Ask something like these questions:
“So, Bob, what brings you to this event?”
“What do you do, Bob?”
“Where are you and your family from, Bob?”
“What are you passionate about, Bob?”
If they have a unique name, ask them to spell it for you, then repeat it back to them and ensure you’re saying it correctly.
When someone says, “Bob, Bobby, Robert, whatever you want.” I URGE you to say, “Well, what do you PREFER to be called?”
You WILL run into this.
People WILL tell you they don’t care. Wanna bet?
People WILL tell you what their friends call them…
HINT: They will tell you the name they PREFER to be called if you dig it out of them. Once you do, repeat that name several times back to them. They will LOVE it!
2. Nail the introduction
SEVEN SECONDS is all you have to grab someone’s attention and make a first impression. You only get ONE shot at this, so let’s nail it!
Smile as you approach someone
Look them directly in the eyes
Making eye contact establishes trust and immediately deepens your connection
Say “Hello” and introduce yourself. Ask them for their name (see #1).
3. Curiosity creates connection
You’ve got their name down, you might have even had a whole conversation on that part alone. Now what?
Ask for more information about something they said
Repeat what they say back to them as a question
You’d be surprised how much longer someone will talk just because you repeat what they just said back to them in question format
Make an observation about them and claim a statement about them. Such as:
It seems like you love living here
It sounds like you’re passionate about XYZ
You must really like XYZ
Latch on to common interests
When you find something they like that you do too, expand on that mutual interest
Don’t go too far if they only seem to be lightly interested in it
Don’t worry if you can’t find something. Just have a natural conversation
4. Be AUTHENTIC
Authenticity is CRITICAL to Connecting!
Let go, have a good time, and be yourself.
5. Have FUN
I think you’ve got this one.
6. Exchange Info. to Nurture the RELATIONSHIP
Now, the uncomfortable part… or not!
People oftentimes associate exchanging information with a cringe-worthy activity. If you’re being authentic and genuinely care to deepen your relationship, it shouldn’t be. And not for the purpose of making a sale, but because you actually desire to talk with that person again.
It should be a given. If you hit it off with someone, why wouldn’t you want to talk to them again?
Do you think you can help them with what your product or service offers? Then maybe they’ll be a fit. But don’t exchange information for the purpose of selling something or you’ll come off desperate and ingenuine. Exchange information because YOU want to talk to THEM again.
The event is over. You are tired. You met all sorts of wonderful people. Now, go home, change, kick back and watch some TV… NOT – it’s game time! In fact, I hope you shot a few messages to people when you got to your car! The sooner you reach back out to people, the fresher you will be on their minds. Send a personalized video message, voice memo, text, or picture message. But do it quickly! If you want to speak with someone again, reach back out sooner rather than later. This isn’t because you’re desperate for a sale, it’s because you thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and see potential synergies with this person. So make it happen.
Here are a few things you can do to nurture that relationship after the fact:
Send a message
You’d be surprised how many people don’t even follow up with a call. If you added your contact info to their phone, they’ll be more likely to answer it.
Follow them on social media
Go to their LinkedIn profile, and send a connection request.
Ring their bell so you get notified when they post and engage with their posts if you really want to show up in their feed. They’ll love you for it!
Shout them out.
You can add the pictures you took to social media and tag them in a post exclaiming how awesome the event was and especially the PEOPLE.
Know of another upcoming event? Tag them in a post you share about it and they’ll be grateful and possibly run into you again there.
Whatever ways you decide to follow up, if you really want to make this relationship happen, it will only happen if you follow up. So stick with it, people are busy, especially after a big event, and all it takes is the right timing and message for them to respond and show up on a zoom call, lunch, or another event you invite them to.
8. Add VALUE
You’ve connected, you set up a meeting, and are about to go deeper into the conversation with a 1-on-1 meeting. So, what’s next?
I can not stress this enough. If you show up at a meeting and dump your products & services onto someone, you’ll blow it. The more you can give, the better. Take charge of the conversation by asking them questions that get them talking, reiterate their answers to questions they seem passionate about, and get them talking more. If you find an opportunity where you can add value, do it.
Here are a few ways you can give value to a new connection:
Make another introduction
Send a resource
Give a piece of advice (if requested/permitted)
Don’t hold information back. If you have something to sell, I imagine it’s more than what you can say during a 30-minute conversation or you might want to beef it up with more content.
A commonly known thing to do in sales is to give before ever asking for something. And don’t do this as some quid-pro-quo strategy, do it authentically. Give what you can to people whenever you can and don’t worry about missing out on a sale. If it’s truly helpful, they will be grateful and wonder, “if I’m getting XYZ for free, I wonder what they’d do if I paid them!”
Did I mention, you’ll feel great too?
9. Make CONNECTIONS
We briefly touched on this in the last point, but we are here to talk about being an EXCELLENT CONNECTOR!
So, let’s make connections! I’m talking about to other people, for the new connection you’ve just made.
How do you feel when someone you know connects you to someone they think you’d like to know?
Well, this is how most people feel. And as a connector, it’s important that you do that for others, too. Sometimes it takes a bit of work to make introductions and get two people on a call, but your job is to put them together. When you know someone that you think another person would benefit from knowing, introduce them. You never know the value you might provide these two people by making that introduction, or the impact you might create in the world.
When two people who have synergies meet, it can create exponential opportunities and a positive impact in the world if you connect the right two people.
How do you know who are great introductions to make?
Ask yourself these questions when aligning two people:
Do they have personalities that you think would be magical together?
Does one person provide a solution that the other needs?
Do they say similar things they’re passionate about?
Do they have similar interests/professions?
Are they working with similar clients?
Are their values or missions aligned?
Can one person add value to the other?
These can help you get thinking about potential introductions to make. Ultimately, if you think there MIGHT be something there, there probably is. Just make the introduction.
10. Stay in Touch
You’ve created plenty of value in this relationship. It’s time for them to take a turn, right? Not really. You’re driving, and it’s a one-way street.
If you really want to keep this person in your life, stay in their mind. By continuously reaching out, they will too, naturally. But, sometimes that takes longer than you might think. Is it worth letting them go because you think you’re doing all the work? Well, you have to decide on that part. But, ultimately, relationships are a one-way street… if you want them to work, you need to give them 100% of your effort to make them work out, not 50/50 – no one wants to be in a relationship (personally or professionally) with someone who is only contributing 50%. So, if you want it to keep working out, keep working on it.
Send a text periodically, give them a call, tag them in posts, invite them to events, and whatever else comes to mind. This is how you keep that connection and make it a deeper relationship.
11. Bonus tips
These are some ideas you can implement to make all of this easier.
Create introduction templates
Email or text templates to respond when someone introduces you, and to introduce someone else.
Use a system like Calendly to schedule meetings
Set reminders in your calendar, or even look into a system like “Contact Mapping” which helps remind you to follow up with people you are connected with.
Sending a “Happy Birthday” to someone who didn’t even think you knew it was their birthday is a magical thing! PS – don’t just post on their FB or send a simple text, level it up with a video or voice message, or even a call… they’ll be blown away!
CRMs are great, but keeping a spreadsheet with names of connections, who they’re looking to connect with, and where you met/who introduced you, is a great way to manage your connections.
Create your own group and add people you like to it. Create a community of supporters for your mission and show your passion regularly to this group.
Find other groups to join and show up regularly. Being part of a community is a great way to get your name known by many people you engage with in the group.