Why it pays to be a connector
Success in sales is often the result of “giving” without asking for anything in return. While we don’t believe there is one surefire way to reach your earning potential, we can say with some certainty that if you’re not networking, you are missing out on valuable business opportunities. In fact, I have built my entire book of business on being a “super-connector” and finding opportunities to open doors for others.
In 2015 alone I made 332 introductions for 125 different people. Many of the introductions were sent by way of LinkedIn messages or emails. While they didn’t take long to distribute, I was able to put over 300 different people in touch with one another in an effort to propel them forward in their own careers. The connections were strategically made, thoughtfully executed and let my connections know that I am eager to help them along the way.
Why is this important to me? Well, I believe that what goes around comes around. I genuinely care that my connections succeed. By introducing them to others who could help them on their professional journeys, I was able to demonstrate an understanding of their line of work, and also show that I am a valuable resource. Plus, it is a great way to strengthen the connection between both the individuals with whom I am introducing.
While I never expect anything in return, over the course of the last year, I have received 203 introductions from 68 different people in my network. That means, I had the opportunity to engage with over 200 people through a combination of email exchanges, introductory phone calls and coffee meetings.
As a result, I have not made a cold call all year and my network has significantly grown. Over 200 people have had the chance to learn about what I do, so they too can make an introduction on my behalf if the time is right. While I still send “cold” emails via LinkedIn, I always have a shared connection or interest to reference—which is a result of my strong network. Every engagement I’ve landed this year has come by way of introductions or targeted networking.
My advice to you in 2016 is to make meaningful introductions for your key clients and strategic partners. Beyond just attending events and passing out business cards, think of ways you can help your connections along their own individual professional journeys. Add value by connecting the dots within your network. The rest will pay off in time.
Thanks for following along,