Steps to Networking – Step 9: From the Heart

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 1st, 2010

STEP 9: From the Heart

The most successful networkers build relationships with others because they love people, the dynamics of relationships and are irrepressible matchmakers. They love sharing their lives and experiences and being closely involved with others. It gives them a sense of community, jointness and purpose. Typically, they’re always trying to fix all single people up on dates, send friends to their favorite hideaway resort or introduce them to a cool new acquaintance. The top connectors are “people people” who come from the heart; with them matchmaking is a passion.

Scores of successful networkers have told us that they derive more joy from building relationships than they do from the ultimate result. They proudly proclaim that they’re “networkers” and derive great pleasure from their work. They love nothing more than meeting new people, getting to know them and then connecting them with others.

Networking is built on enthusiasm and passion, which savvy networkers don’t fake. Most people can immediately spot fakers, which turns them off and scares them away—and that makes it awfully hard to network.

Most successful networkers usually love:

• People
• What they do and
• Giving of themselves without restriction.

Most successful networkers openly refer those they trust to their resources. To them matchmaking is a game, an opportunity, a calling. They feel that the more solid relationships they help create, the more successful they are. Instead of avoiding opportunities to play matchmaker, they jump at them. In response to requests for the names of contacts, the best networkers immediately real off a few names and then repeatedly inject, “Oh, and also take down the name of ______ _________” and, “Oh yeah ______ _______” and “Then don’t forget ____ _______.”

Generosity usually pays off because network members will rush to help those who have aided them or members of their network. It’s the networker’s way of saying “thanks,” passing the baton and playing the network game its highest level.

In most cases, it doesn’t pay to hide your true agenda. It’s usually best to be open and clearly explain exactly what you want. For example, “Can you introduce me to Jack Jones?” If you sense reluctance or misgivings, back off. Everyone has personal limits so don’t push or you may turn a potentially good source into someone who avoids you.

When your contact is forthcoming, always express your appreciation and ask how you can reciprocate. Some contacts will be direct and tell you exactly what they expect while others will be silent or noncommittal. If a contact wants a referral fee, clarify in advance how much he/she expects to avoid problems down the road. If he/she is too demanding, express your feelings up front or it will come back to haunt you at a later date.

(Excerpted from NETWORKING MAGIC: Making Connections That Will Change Your Life By Rick Frishman and Jill Lublin With Mark Steisel)

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