The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking - The Week
Eric Barker stashed this in Diabolical Plans For World Domination
Featuring great insight from none other than Adam Rifkin... :)
1) If Connecting Seems Hard, Start By Re-Connecting
You hate networking. Or you’re bad at it. Or you’re hopelessly lazy and have the attention span of a gnat. Then just go play on Facebook.
I’m being serious. An excellent first step, backed by research, is to reconnect with old friends:
These findings suggest that dormant relationships – often overlooked or underutilized – can be a valuable source of knowledge and social capital.
For a dead simple way to reconnect with people, click here.
5) Judy Robinett, author of How to Be a Power Connector has a great short list of questions to make sure you make the most of even brief meetings.
Before you leave any meeting or encounter, you always should ask what I call Three Golden Questions.
First, “How can I help you?” This gives you an opportunity to add value immediately with a suggestion, a referral, or an opportunity, and it will establish you as a giver and potentially someone they want to know.
Second, “What ideas do you have for me?” Asking for ideas allows the people you are talking with to add value to you as you have (hopefully) added value to them.
Third, “Who else do you know that I should talk to?” The very connection you need may be in this individual’s network, and the only way you can find out is with this question.
For more on what to say and do in the moment, click here.
8) Cement A Relationship By Asking For A Favor
Asking people for favors can actually strengthen the bond between you.
There was somebody who really did not like Ben. And as much as Ben tried to be nice to the guy, nothing worked.
So instead of trying to help his detractor, Franklin took the opposite route — he asked his enemy for a favor. Ironically, that made them friends.
Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him expressing my desire of perusing that book and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days.
He sent it immediately – and I returned it in about a week with another note expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with great civility. And he ever afterward manifested a readiness to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great friends, and our friendship continued to his death.
What happened? When someone does something for you they need to justify it — maybe by changing their mind about you.
How can you do this without coming off like a selfish taker? Judy Robinett says to stick to the “rule of two”: give two favors before asking for one.
And don’t be afraid. Research shows we tend to underestimate just how helpful people are.
For more on how to be a giver the smart way, click here.
9) Tips From The Best
Fortune Magazine called Adam Rifkin the most networked guy in Silicon Valley. He has a few things anyone can do to be a better networker:
1. Do something every single day. Make it a habit. The more of it you do, the better you can get at it. Every day is an opportunity to get better, but do not try to do too much at once. Take the longview, and connect with at least one person professionally every day. Could be following up with someone you already know; could be asking for an introduction from a mutual connection.
2. Once in a while, think of two people who should know each other but don’t, and introduce them. Follow through with them later to learn from whether that introduction was worthwhile, so you can get better at making introductions. Practice!
3. Imagine you got laid off today. Who are the 5-10 people you’d write to for advice? Make sure to invest in those relationships regularly, not just when you have an urgent need.
4. Look at the 5-10 people you’ve spent the most time with in the last 3 months. Are you happy with the way they’re influencing you? If so, find another person who belongs in that group and invest in that relationship. (If not, change the way you’re spending your time! How you spend your time determines so much in your life.)
For more insights from networker extraordinaire Adam Rifkin, click here.
More great insights -- including a summary of five minute favors -- in Eric's article:
those really are great tips, adam! making it a habit is hard though -- especially when most of my time is spent with toddlers!
Making anything a habit is hard. With or without toddlers!
That's why we repost variations on these tips over and over: Repetition helps remind us.