A key part of growth is to improve your network.
Study the biography of any successful person and you can see how key relationships accelerated their growth.
Small problem though – Most of us aren’t born into great connections. You have to start from scratch and develop relationships with people you admire if you want them in your network.
That’s something I’m still doing to this day. There are people more successful than me in certain areas, and I want to learn from them.
On the other hand, I’ve had various people reach out and want to meet me in person. Most of these meetings I’ve had have turned out pretty bad from my perspective.
I’m not scolding anyone I’ve met in the past. I’m writing this article because I really want you to succeed. Being a good networker requires social intuition and that can only come from experience and time. I hope I can speed up your journey with some of the big learnings I’ve had over the past decade.
Lets say you’ve secured a meeting with someone. These tips could be the difference between a one-time meeting and a real friendship developing.
1. Respect The Person’s Time
Acknowledge that they are busy and thank them for their time. For example, “I know you’re busy, and I really appreciate your time today. I wanted to meet you because I really respect you and you’re definitely someone worth knowing.” Be humble and flatter them.
Keep the meeting short and concise. If it’s just coffee then 30 minutes is good.
DO NOT under any circumstances be late.
Also you want to make it as CONVENIENT as possible for the person. Schedule the meeting at THEIR convenience and at a location NEAR them. If you live an hour apart, then you’re commuting for 55 minutes to meet them.
Remember that they are doing you a favor by meeting with you.
2. You’re Paying
Having dinner or coffee? Pick up the bill.
It doesn’t matter that the guy is 100x richer than you are. The point is to show your appreciation for them taking their time out to meet with you.
If I find myself at a stripclub next to Zuckerberg, then you can bet he has unlimited access to my credit card.
Here what the god of Asia, Li Ka-Sheng has to say
Second set of funds: To make friends, expand your interpersonal circle. This will make you well off. Your phone bills can be budgeted at RMB 100. You can buy your friends 2 lunches a month, each at $150. Who should you buy lunch for? Always remember to buy lunch for people who are more knowledgeable than you, richer than you or people who have helped you in your career. Make sure you do that every month. After one year, your circle of friends should have generated tremendous value for you. Your reputation, influence, added value will be clearly recognized. You’ll also enhance your image of being good and generous.
3. It’s NOT a Consultation Session
This is BIG.
I meet fans because I want to get to know them as a person, or I just want to hang out. The LAST thing I want to do is get grilled for an hour about affiliate marketing.
Put yourself in the person’s shoes. Lets say he’s a paid consultant whose time is worth $1,000 an hour. It’s rude to spend an hour ask non-stop questions ask if you’re a client.
It’s ok to ask questions here and there, but be self-aware.
Also if you do ask questions, make them count. Don’t ask questions that the person has answered 100x on their blog already. When you ask really basic questions then it shows you haven’t really put the time in to learn.
4. DO NOT Make the Entire Conversation About Yourself
This is a rule from the book INFLUENCE by Dale Carnegie.
People love talking about themselves.
Don’t make the conversation about you. It should be 80% asking about them, and 20% about you. Make sure you really LISTEN to what they’re saying.
Show them you’ve done your homework. I like to ask questions that show I’m a huge fan.
Example: I met up with a reader and he just talked to me like an old friend. We talked about traveling, girls, bodybuilding, and philosophy.
He didn’t ask me anything about business or affiliate marketing. It showed me he valued me as a person, rather than just “extract as much value out of him as possible.”
We became good friends. When he finally did ask for help in the industry, I bent over backwards to help him out. The guys who spend an hour asking me for affiliate marketing help? I don’t really see a point of keeping in touch.
5. Ask What’s the Best Way to Stay in Touch.
The conversation’s about to be over and you probably want to keep in touch with this guy. Remember that you want to do it at their convenience.
Example: “Hey man this was an amazing 30 minutes and I learned a lot from you. Thank you. Is there anyway we could keep in touch? I’m not going to be those guys that messages you 10 times a day with stupid questions.”
6. Offer Value
This guy has just helped you. Is there anyway you can help them?
I have different skills I can offer people: optimize their landing pages, help them out with their paid campaigns, or even just promote their brand / product to my audience.
I offer my services to let them know I’m not a leech, and that I’m someone worth getting to know.
Is there anything you can offer the person? I know it can be tough if you’re a newbie and the guy doesn’t seem like he needs much.
That’s why it’s important to LISTEN.
“Hey man if there’s anything you ever need just let me know. If there’s anyone way I could be of help to you don’t hesitate to ask me”