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Sunday, June 27, 2010

JETNETTING: The First Impression Factor XXIV: The Power of the Introduction

JetNetting with Heshie Segal

Bob considers himself a great connector. He goes to events on a regular basis and connects everyone he meets. He uses a fairly standard format. “Mary, meet Jane. Jane meet Mary. Joe meet Latoya. Latoya meet Barry. Barry meet Jose.” He continues with this format until he has, time permitting, connected almost everyone at an event.

We now have a bunch of people who might know each other by name ... maybe. When there is only a name exchange, why would anyone have a need to remember any person they have met? I can hear your answer already. No reason. No need. Nothing. Nada.

Bob’s intentions may be quite noble. He just wants everyone to know everyone else and in so doing, draw attention to, or from himself. One big happy family, right? Possibly and not probably. In fact, some might become suspect. Why is he doing this? To be Mr. Nice Guy? Perhaps he wants to be liked (Don’t we all?)

Melinda, after the umpteenth quick introduction, muses, “I really appreciate all these introductions and at this point, quite frankly, I am overwhelmed by the sheer number of names I have heard. I know nothing about the people I am meeting so I probably won’t remember a single one of them.” She says to Bob, “When you introduce me to the next person, would you consider telling me something about them?” Bob stares at her in disbelief (or perhaps even in horror), “I don’t know very much, if anything about anyone here. I just see their nametags and make sure they meet each other. I am known as the connector because of what I do.”

Melinda, ready to coach, seeks permission, “Bob, are you open to a little coaching that could make you “even more” of a connector?” (Notice the use of “even more” ... and Melinda starting out with a positive.)

“Yes, I guess so,” is Bob’s reluctant reply.

Melinda takes in his response. “Bob, you seem a bit hesitant even though your intentions clearly are to be a great connector. Am I on track?”

Bob’s spirits are lifted a bit. “Yes, I love to connect people.”

Melinda looks for the positive. “When I meet someone new, I’d like more than a name. I want to know something about the person, anything that will help me connect with them. It could be the reason the introduction is being made; perhaps it is as simple as meeting new people, or to obtain information, a good connection for business, commonality in interests, perhaps the family, a resource, etc.). Would you be willing to tell me something about yourself and then allow me to introduce you to someone?”

Bob thinks a moment. “I had not thought about that ... yes, I think I might be able to learn by watching”. Bob provides some information that might be of interest to someone else.

Melinda approaches her friend Jesse.

“Jesse, I would like you to meet my new friend Bob. He loves connecting people and could be a great resource for you. I know you are looking for someone with whom you can partner in your new venture and Bob, knowing so many people, might just have the right contact for you. He has been in marketing for 12 years. In that time he has gone from clerk to management, so he clearly knows the ropes of advancement. He specializes in the health industry and is a professional speaker; you said you wanted to improve your presentation skills.”

“Bob, this is my dear friend by the use of the word ‘dear”, (Bob knows that this is a good friend) Jesse who has been in sales for 14 years and is one of the most amazing people I know. She is never about the sale; she is always about what she can do to help others achieve their goals. Jesse is also well-known in the health arena so we already have a great match.” (Melinda is setting them up for success with commonality.) She is a top-notch consultant and coach.”

“I have a few other people I promised to see today. I will be back shortly to check up on the two of you. Be good!”

Melinda discreetly leaves, making her way around the room, keeping an eye on Jesse and Bob. About 15 minutes later, she returns and finds them deeply engrossed in conversation. She smiles, “OK you two, if you have not exchanged cards and contact information, this is the time to do it. Jesse, I know you will want to connect with more people and you and Bob can talk later. I am going to introduce him to a few more people if you do not mind.”

Melinda motions for Bob to join her. “So Bob, how did that feel?”

“Great. Jesse is quite the personality. She is smart and knowledgeable. I think we can do business together.”

Melinda asks, “Bob, how often have you made connections like this at an event?”

“Well, I don’t think I have ever made them quite like this.”

“Can you see the difference when it’s about more than just a name?”

“Yes, absolutely, how can I thank you?”

“Let’s stay in touch and when the time comes, if I need something, I will let you know.”

Many people are like Bob. They simply don’t understand that connecting is more than a simple meeting and a name. Success is based on relationship building, and the initial introduction can become the catalyst for the development of a glowing and informative dialogue.

Re-think how you introduce others and how you get introduced. It could change your bottom line, if not your life.

For more information, please visit Hershie's TNNWC Bio.

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