Saturday, June 2, 2012
Going Direct - Operating Without a Net
While most networkers would prefer to be introduced before calling someone that they don’t know, sometime that’s just not possible. What happens when you do not have a connection? Is it feasible, reasonable, and not against any rules to go direct? Absolutely!
Here are some thoughts that might help...
The rule when you’re connecting with someone new, whether you have been connected by a third party or not, is to have a valid purpose. You may have heard of WIIFM before or “what’s in it for me.” Practicing WIIFM requires you to understand and appeal to an important value of the person who you are reaching out to. People worth meeting generally don’t like wasting time so make sure that your valid purpose is stated quickly and clearly. Make it about them and you’ll be in good shape.
We have so many communication tools available to make a first contact...phone, email, social media, a handwritten note, etc...Which should you use? The tendency today for first contact is certainly towards email and social media. While the efficiency here cannot be argued, the challenge is that it is difficult for the receiver to discern tone on email and social media. Whether your phone call leads directly to a conversation or a voicemail the receiver will hear your passion and valid purpose in a way that they never will when your message is two dimensional.
While networking is a powerful tool it does not solve every need to make contact. Sometimes you’ll need to travel without a net and go direct!