Don’t be a nobody that nobody sent!

How to turn networking introductions into meetings. The following exchange took place in the ExecuNet Forum, where members can pose “Ask the Expert” questions and get them answered.

Q: I’m doing pretty well at: identifying existing opportunities, using my network to find the hiring manager, getting hiring manager contact info (phone, email) often getting email intro to hiring manager. What I’m having problems with is turning this into a meeting. I phone/fax/email, different times, different days, balance between aggressive and obnoxious, etc. But still, so few actual meetings. Any help/ideas on turning intros into meetings?Coach Mark James: It sounds like you are on the right track. As you have probably heard before, approaching someone you don’t know without any connection or introduction of some sort will, most likely, provide less than desired results. You must avoid being a “nobody that nobody sent.” The preferred approach is to find or create a connection to the person you wish to engage. Your credibility will be enhanced and the person you are contacting will immediately be more receptive to your call and more likely to agree to meet with you.

Don’t forget the Golden Rule of Networking: “People will do business with and network with and refer people in their network to those people they know, like and trust and respect.” So…your #1 goal is to seek out warm referrals from the people you know, like, trust, and respect. Your #2 goal is to always be trying to schedule a face-to-face meeting with the warm referrals you are given by the people in your network. Once you have been given a warm referral, force yourself to make the phone call within 48 hours to start your networking connection and secure a meeting.

Here are the 3 things that may prevent you from getting face-to-face meetings:

  • You may talk too much.
  • You may lack confidence.
  • You’re a nobody that nobody sent.

Leverage the concept of 6 degrees of separation. There is an existing pathway to just about anyone you wish to meet. It’s better to work on finding that pathway than to simply cold call someone.
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An ExecuNet Networking Meeting facilitator in San Diego and Irvine California, Mark S. James, CPC is a Certified Personnel Consultant (NAPS-1998) and the President and Founder of Hire Consulting Services, LLC (www.hireconsultant.com). He may be reached at mjames@HireConsultant.com.

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