It’s incredible to think of the number of people we ‘connect’ with on a daily basis. On an average day, we probably run into more new people (in queues, at the shop, in traffic and around the office) than our grandparents would in an entire lifetime. So if it’s so easy to meet new people, why do we still struggle to find connections that will benefit our business? The answer is simple. Not all connections are created equal when you’re after an A-Grade Client Connection!
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Organisational behavioural researchers from the Case Western Reserve University, Boston University and the University of Michigan characterise the connections we experience as being similar to the relationships between blood vessels. High-quality connections allow for a symbiotic exchange of valuable information and are flexible, strong and resilient. On the other hand, poor connections involve weak or parasitic relationships where each interaction can create damage or even death.
While the above might seem dramatic, it isn’t really when you consider that every second and every dollar you spend on a poor quality connection can never be recovered. What is it worth to connect with someone who can lead you to (or is) a top quality, ideal client? Invaluable.
At The Business League and during our networking events we know the value of this. For example one member found a $40 000 client in her first 3-months, another member has closed three $7000 deals in the breakfast (not after, not alter, actually in the breakfast – EPIC).
So what can you do to facilitate A-Grade Client Connections? For starters, know what it is that you want and in specific terms. Sure, you want to connect with someone in logistics/sales/publishing…but who exactly? We all know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone else. Naming your dream connection is the first step. From there it’s just a matter of tracing several degrees of separation back to its source. You’ve all heard the expression “7-Degrees of Separation”. Well once a quarter in our networking workshop breakfasts we run an activity we have created called “7-Degrees of Networking Separation”, which we find is really only two or three degrees of separation. What this means is that we can work out how you can connect with your ideal A Grade connection during a breakfast.
If you’re wondering where to find that first stepping stone to your desired contact, you need to consider networking events. You can judge the value of a networking event (and of chasing a potential connection at it) by the amount of time and money you put in, compared to what you get out. Are you profiting, breaking even or running at a loss?