How to Lead Your Network to Improved Introductions

It’s sometimes a blurry line between networking with business acquaintances and making friends in the process.

When we recognize those blossoming friendships, it becomes the right time to think about the introductions we may make. When you reach out to connect people with whom you see the synergy, you never have to worry about the question, ‘what will be in it for me?’ The answer presents itself soon enough.

As I began my entrepreneurship years ago, I was introduced to networking organizations and met many wonderful people.

Times change though, and as social media came into being, I began networking online. Today’s story bridges the traditional method of connecting people with that of making introductions online. There are benefits to both styles.

Earlier this year Bob connected with me online, and then we enjoyed an exploratory phone call. The timing wasn’t right then, but like all good salespeople, we follow-up. A message arrived on a Sunday stating, ‘call me anytime.’ So I picked up the phone to call. I don’t usually make calls on Sunday, but intuition got the better of me. Bob happened to be running in the countryside and said that conversation is a good distraction from feeling the strain. He loved the immediacy of my call!

By the end of our conversation, possibilities were plentiful for us to pursue.

And then Bob suggested that if I know of anyone who also may hold interest, I should make the introduction. A day later, John called. He and I met a couple of times in person to recognize the synergy between us when it comes to conducting business. It only took the two meetings for us to feel as if we are friends. Midway through the phone call, I let him know about Bob and asked if an introduction would be of interest. The answer was an obvious yes.

Most noteworthy is how the exchange of introductions have changed over the years. In the early stages, there needed to be a clear-cut give and take with something in it for everyone. Accordingly, most of those did not work out all that well. In contrast, those I now introduce have impressive backgrounds, and there is no doubt something favorable will materialize in the not too distant future. It’s a long journey finding the collaborative minded people who will work on behalf of others. The effort becomes well worthwhile in many regards.

Related: Future Sales Rely On Customer Service

The early years of your career test your endurance in many respects. But the one hard lesson is to realize not everyone is inclined toward the equal give and take or will reciprocate in kind actions. So it becomes a learning thread on how to recognize those we trust to do right by us. Keep in mind that as you build your networks and begin to make introductions, they all reflect your personal brand. The company you keep and promote is a reflection on you, and will determine your business outlook for the future.

Suggestions on scouting out collaborative folks include:

  • Secure introductions from the people you trust.
  • Be aware of whether the person answers your questions directly or tries to avoid some.
  • Determine if their values and priorities are similar to yours or if a big question mark remains after the conversation is over.
  • The most important criteria deserve serious consideration: Are you making an introduction because you believe it will benefit the other party and are you in receipt of one for the same reason? Give your best always, and keep an eye out for others doing the same. It is the giving of your best and seeing others do the same where your in-person connections prove worthy of your time, and your online following grows the way you desire.