The right thing. Doing the right thing. Right by my side. Right wing. Right to bear arms. Right to work. All the right moves. The kids are alright. The Kids in the Hall. Anthony Michael Hall.
OK, I’m back. I’ll be alright. Or all right.
Anyway, I received an interesting response to a recent post I made through my very impressive social media campaign (click on the links to the right!). I posted, “Networking is about learning from and potentially helping others. If you help enough of the right people they will help you back!”
I got a great response! “Take off the word “right”. Everyone has the ability to help others. We can all help each other.” This brings me back to the “right” people and Anthony Michael Hall. Actually, it was a great response. Her point was ‘everyone is good and has something valuable to share’.
The truth is that every person you meet can’t necessarily help you. In fact, many of them simply won’t. That’s just the way life is. People have personal agendas, biases, values, opinions, attitudes, behaviors, experiences, preconceived notions, alliances, priorities, and all that stuff picked up from our parents and childhood. It’s very confusing really. Let me make it easy. Just focus on establishing and building great relationships with those you like. Those you connect with. Those you enjoy spending time with. Those you have something in common with. Those you can help and can help you. And those that it feels effortless to speak with. Know anybody like that?
Those are the “right” people. How do you find them? Some things to consider:
Is it love at first sight. Have you ever met someone and hit it off immediately? As Renee Zellweger said in the movie Jerry Maguire, “You had me at hello.” Much like in social situations, if you connect almost immediately with someone, you create momentum and interest in learning more about one another. Remember how you met your dreamboat? Well, it’s similar (or should be similar) when meeting people for business reasons. There are those “remember when we first met?” stories when you didn’t like each other upon first glance but you ended up in a great relationship? We all have those stories but those situations just don’t happen often enough. That’s why they’re great stories!
Are they a networker? A true networker is always looking to meet great people in an effort to learn and help. They enjoy the personal interaction and getting to know new people. Networkers are natural connectors and will see the value (or not) of forging a relationship with you quickly. That’s why quality networking events are great places to meet people who are like-minded and share similar expectations. Are you attending them? To meet the right people, are you looking in all the right places?
Do they come in contact with the same people you need to meet? That’s where having an idea of who your best prospect, and therefore, your best client is. That’s where the benefit of having a target market comes in. That’s where knowing the types of professionals that come in contact with those you need to meet come in. If you can formulate a short list of professions or professionals that can help you (and you can help right back), it makes meeting all the right people that much easier. So find them!
Do they see the value in getting to know you? The people you meet are the “right” people if they like you and respect your expertise, experience, and ability to help in your field. If they don’t have faith in your competencies as a professional, there won’t be a great connection so look to meet people that are in the same or a similar phase of their profession and will value the products and services you provide.
Is it mutual? Yes, the feelings (positive that is) should be mutual but is the benefit of the relationship? Business relationships (personal ones too!) must evolve into a “we” thing rather than a “me” thing or they won’t be relationships for long. Of course there are exceptions, but again those are few and far between. Mentor relationships or those developing a protégé might be the exceptions. Or those wanting to “pay it forward” or the “I remember when I was your age” scenarios. Even then, returning the favor in the form of thoughtful gifts and gestures is never a bad idea.
Keep all of this in mind when you meet new people through your own networking and introductions, and I promise you’ll be all “right”!read more