ProBlogger posts a good list of rules today for networking with bloggers. But the rules apply as well to anyone you contact – in the hopes that they might buy your product or join your business.
These tips seem obvious, but when you need money, and have a list of 300 leads to call, it’s easy to view them as just a means to an end. Are they going to buy or not? Join or not? Hurry and let’s get to the good ones.
But the people you’re calling sense this. They’re people jut like us, with their own problems to solve.
Next time you call someone you don’t know, and the phone’s picked up, picture being like this:
- Have the best intentions. You might be really good at faking it, but essentially your intentions will become transparent. Try on the idea of operating with the greatest good of all in mind. Whether you’re contacting someone for a favor, partnership, or just to make a friend, you must consider how the interaction will be a win-win.
- Respect their time. Make the assumption that whoever you’re talking to is an extremely important, and busy person. Do not contact them with a long-winded 5 page essay with a million details, about something that is vitally important to you, but may not have any signficance to them. Be concise and get to the point.
- Be genuine with them. Be very transparent in what you want right off the bat. If you manipulate a person into giving you their attention, and than spring something major on them, they will most certainly not appreciate it. You might get what you want, but it won’t be ethical, and you won’t have a lasting relationship.
- Give more than you take. Do not be a leach that sucks away someones time and resources. Be willing to offer more of your time and service than you are expecting to receive. I know this sounds like a cliche, but it’s more fulfilling to give, than to receive, and it’s a better way to make friends too.
- Keep them at eye level. People feel uncomfortable if you put them on a pedestal and they resent being talked down to. By talking to someone as if they are just like you, you build a stronger connection and sense of reporte. You’ll find people opening up, speaking casually, and possibly becoming a friend.
- Have unshakable confidence, and ask. Most contacts are not approached, and deals are not made, not because someone got rejected, but because they did not ask in the first place. This should have been rule number one. Take the first step, write that comment, or that e-mail, and believe in yourself.
- Be presentable on search. When contacting someone for the first time, the chances of them googling your name are pretty high these days. Make sure you give them something good to find, other than a myspace page with drunken pics. Have a weblog set up to showcase who you are and what you do.
- Treat them the way they want to be treated. This is more important than treating someone the way you want to be treated. This is the ultimate form of showing someone you understand them, and are willing to give them what they need. It requires a little bit of proactive listening on your part.