The idea of it doesn’t always leave a good taste in your mouth.
And for good reason.
Most guys do it wrong and that often leads to rubbing people the wrong way.
Always expecting to gain something — but how can you get something if you haven’t offered anything in return?
The ability to connect with influential people is a critical skill, especially if you’re motivated to advance your career.
Over the last two to three years I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the calibre of people I’ve been able to connect with.
This includes very successful businessmen, key decision makers within the city, and even well known influencers in their chosen industry.
All of whom have come to know me through the 5 tips I’m about to share with you.
Before we get to that, let’s briefly talk about why it matters to connect with them.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t expect anything in return, especially not right away.
People (especially influential ones) can ALWAYS sense when you have a hidden agenda.
Be upfront with your intentions and your life will be much easier.
The most important benefit of connecting with influential people has been the endless opportunities it will open up for you.
Because of connections I made at a local magazine, I was able to connect with organizers of Packwood Grand (Calgary’s version of the Kentucky Derby).
As a result of this connection I was invited to help them choose outfits for their media appearances and was actually invited to be on TV twice in the same week.
One connection lead to another and in the end created great exposure for Street Gentlemen.
An opportunity that may not have been possible had I not established the initial connection with the local magazine.
Read the following 5 tips to find out EXACTLY how I made this opportunity (and more) possible…
Slow And Steady Wins The Race:
JJJRH approach doesn’t just apply to social media marketing
Most people make the mistake of asking what the other one does. This automatically raises a red flag.
Any experienced networker (especially executives and who we’d label the “1%”) have seen it all.
The easiest way to win them over is simply to get to know them.
My best results have come from building a genuine connection. This is most relevant for people you’d see during your day-to-day routine.
Take note of regulars at your favourite coffee shops, restaurants, and the gym
Once you understand the subtle cues in their body language, you’ll have no problem spotting who the influential people are.
Confidence is an obvious one.
Pay close attention to how outgoing they are too. It’s another key factor to look for.
More often than not, they’re not going to approach you and begin making small talk.
However they will acknowledge you and be happy to engage in a conversation.
Finally, they’re not looking to draw much attention to themselves.
This makes perfect sense.
With so many demands on their time and how much they value each minute, it’s wise for influential to manage it wisely.
Only Choose to Focus On The Positive
Influential people have risen to the top for one main reason.
This won’t come as a surprise but it’s rarely ever a negative one that leads to success.
When it comes to networking, a huge mistake people make is to gossip.
Doing so is actually more of a reflection of the gossiper’s character than the person being gossiped about.
It’s a clear sign that this person can’t be trusted.
On the other hand, people feel more drawn to anyone they can feel good around.
Focusing on the positive (as cliche as it may sound) can make you more attractive.
The way we treat people who seem to offer “nothing” in return for our efforts is also a reflection of your character.
The key takeaway here is that we’ll never know where somebody will end up. One day you could be the one asking them for a favour.
Hopefully your past experiences left them with a good impression.
The 51/49 Rule
That sums it up in one word.
This is Gary Vaynerchuk’s principle of 51/49.
His idea is to always be on the giving end (51) and to expect less in return (49).
Whether that be to offer up your contacts to those who may need them or to share insights you’ve gained. That’s up to you to decide.
Either way, people will ALWAYS remember when you’ve helped them make progress.
Though it may not always be obvious, influential people can sense when your main focus is to TAKE rather than GIVE.
Call it intuition or experience.
Either way, your vocal tonality and body language will make your intentions clear.
Don’t Try Too Hard
People can smell this from a mile away.
Ok, maybe not a mile but studies have been shown that humans can detect the difference between excitement and fear.
That’s just based on the pheromones we release through our sweat glands.
Use this to your advantage.
Rather than trying to force a conversation or to go too far out of your way to connect with somebody, position yourself wisely.
Pay close attention to how the influential person you’re attempting to connect with operates (without being a creepy stalker).
For example. You notice them wearing the same hat, jacket, or a sweater on a regular basis.
It just so happens that this article of clothing also happens to be apparel for their favourite team.
Take note of that and make sure to keep up with the highlights.
At least this way you’re well equipped with something to talk about besides the weather.
Doing so will make you more memorable.
This also shows that you bring more to the table than just your industry-related knowledge.
People do business with people they like.
To have some common ground to talk about besides spreadsheets and forecasts will help improve your chances.
Act On Their Advice
Talk is cheap.
Assuming that you’ve been able to connect with influential people, the best thing you can do is to apply their advice.
This means actually implementing what they’ve shared with you.
If not, you risk giving them the impression that their time wasn’t valued.
Taking action also gives you a great opportunity to follow-up with your new contacts.
This leads to building the relationship for the long-term.
All you have to do is follow-up with a quick email thanking them for sharing their advice and the results it’s created in your life.
This works because people love being appreciated!
It also means that they’ll be more likely to schedule another meeting with you in the future because they know their time won’t go to waste.
As you can see, connecting with influential people is actually pretty easy.
Apply these tips and make sure to be in the right places at the right times and you’ll grow your network organically.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
While you’re here, you should check out the free style guide below…