It Was Good For Me. Was It Good For You?

May 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Posted in Adrian Miller Sales Training, Networking | 11 Comments

(Be forewarned, this may sound like some sort of venting but trust me, I am not alone in voicing this complaint.)

You’ve probably experienced something like this yourself. You’ve gotten together with a new networking contact and are reviewing possible introductions and connections that you can help them with. The introductions are with other “connectors” and referral sources and all of a sudden you hear “wow, they would be good for me.”

There’s a pause while you wait for them to elaborate and perhaps explain more, namely how they, in turn, can benefit the person to whom they would like an introduction. But nothing follows.

Seems simple right.

When I make an introduction (and believe me I do scads of them) I am always thinking about the reciprocity that can ensue and I don’t mean the reciprocity for me.

No, I’m more interested in how it’s going to work between the people that I introduce to each other. Will there be mutual benefits or will one of them simply see the other as a treasure trove of contacts without, in fact, returning the favor. It is after all, as the cliché goes, a 2-way street.

But many networkers don’t see it that way. They ask (sometimes even expect) introductions and they can’t seem to get beyond WIFM (what’s in it for me). Selfishness rules.

So I’ve gotten very wary and when people say that they’d like me to make some introductions for them I always ask “why” and when they explain that these intros would be “good” for them, I, in turn, ask if they would be good for the other person as well. Do they have introductions and contacts that can benefit these new connections because if they don’t, it may not be an introduction that is well received.

When I make introductions I always want them to be good for everyone so please be sure to tell me if it was good for you. The feedback will help and can only serve to make it better the next time.

11 Comments »

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  1. Not provocative … just a realistic statement. I totally concur. Thanks for the courage to say it.
    It reminds me of going to a networking meeting and having people just shove a business card at me … unsolicited. They don’t even ask what I do. Honestly, when someone gives me a card I didn’t ask for, I usually throw it away. Maybe that’s not nice, but frankly, that has become my policy. And, I don’t give someone a business card unless we’ve shared an interest and they ask.

  2. I agree. The headlines is sexy enough to get attention but the content is relevant and important.

  3. sad yet true..

  4. Let me offer a correction: Selfishness persists. But selfishness neither rules nor works. Like you, I try to make exchanges work for the other party. The rule is Give Give Give Get. Zig Ziglar put it best – you can have anything you want so long as you help enough people get what they want.

    Have a look and see if the unselfishness which is Adrian’s Network is working for Adrian. My guess is that it is. What do you say?

  5. Great comments. I guess that is why you and I have been successful at networking.

  6. In my experience – the good networkers are also the ones who genuinely enjoy being helpful to others. That’s why they are happy to be on the two-way street.

  7. Thank you for those valuable pearls of wisdom to live by, we can’t be reminded of this point enough. In addition, shifting out of the WIFM mentality feels good emotionally and spiritually, so following this advice is a complete uplifting win/win situation.

  8. Thanks, Adrian, for your pearls of wisdom.

  9. May the givers of the world prevail. I completely concur with you. Going forward, I’m going to be sure to pursue your line of questioning. It can only help everyone.

  10. Well said Adrian. An introduction has to be good for both parties and not just a one way street. Best to hash out expectations up front before making the introduction.

  11. Great Blog Adrian. Networking is a two way street. The best networkers want to connect with those who “get it”!! Returning the favor is not always a lead. Only in a prefect world it can work out that way. Great returns for me are an invite to another event or maybe even a mention on a blog post.


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