As many of you, I never liked cold calling. I got many times frustrated of trying to reach a prospect with a cold call. If you have no real connection to that person, it is twice as likely that your call will not be returned. If we do have a connection, there is an 11x more likely chance that you will hear back.
As a loyal reader, you probably know that the key for successful connecting with other people is to leverage your network of connections – from your business, your studies, and associations with your prospect’s connections.
If you are genuinely interested to connect with other people you need to ask yourself several leading questions: Who within my network really knows this person? How will I get in touch with this person? What do you have in common with this person? I am aware that this information is not easy to get! In fact, this information is only in the contacts and connections you have…it’s not always can be found on social media platforms.
During many years of learning the art of connecting between people I found out, Interestingly, that every person, without a doubt, can get close and connect to anyone. Growing solid relationships with people from all walks of life is one of the benefits of working in anything business related.
These types of genuine connections, with authenticity a mutual respect do not expire and no matter how much time goes by, people I have worked with in the past will reach out again to do projects again since the trust and connection was established earlier so we catch up then pick up where we left off and get to work together.
So what are these interpersonal traits I use working with clients that has helped me to achieve long term relationships with clients and other business professionals (that become trusted friends)? Let me share 3 of them with you.
1. Giving Attention
As I emphasized in my book: ‘The Attention Switch” – learning to give authentic attention to other people is one of the best skills to develop in life and shows marks of maturity. Asking questions or paraphrasing what someone has said back to them shows respect and engagement.
I personally get annoyed and think it is disrespectful if someone expects you to listen to them then cut you off when they get excited with their next bit. I am guilty of it myself still sometimes but I am conscious of it and have been working on stopping it altogether.
2. Asking Great Questions
I mentioned this point many times before. Asking good insightful questions show the other person that you sincerely interested in them and put them at ease to open up to you.
When you meet somebody new, things about it as a challenge for yourself to learn something new based from the other person life experience and expertise. Something I am genuinely curious about. Remember: everyone knows something you don’t, figure out what it is.
I always believe that even if the business goes sour the relationship can survive if you set it up right and you can try something else together again in the future.
3. Sharing Mutual Respect
The older I get the more I like to have direct conversations. It may initially make the other party a little nervous or defensive but those situations often lead to respect forming. Challenging someone’s point of view forces their perspective to expand.
I have gotten professional opportunities from global leaders and top-level executives that chose me because they thought I would challenge them, keep it real and build authentic relationship. Isn’t it what everybody looking for nowadays?
Now, go and practice these three powerful interpersonal traits and see the amazing difference it will create in your connections with other people. You will start experiencing and cultivating authentic, respectful and loyal business relationships. That is where the fun of networking only begins.