Very few successful businesspeople, politicians, or leaders will be direct enough to say, “I am really good at meeting people and leveraging my very large network.” They worry that by revealing the deep network they frequently tap into, others will think they have unfair advantages. And they do. But you can create these advantages for yourself by meeting a lot of people. Here are a few important tips from Pat Hedley, author of Meet 100 People:
1. Go out and meet people face-to-face
Texts, emails, and phone calls are good, but they are not enough. You must meet people in person to establish a connection and start to build a valuable network.
2. Meet people consistently and proactively
You need to meet a lot of people to improve your odds of success. You can meet 100 people in six months. Create a schedule and go out and do it!
3. Keep expanding your network
Who else do you recommend I talk to? This is an essential question to ask whenever you have met someone. Absolutely ask for referrals and meet more people.
4. If you don’t ask, you don’t get
Show your interest. If you would like to meet someone, reach out directly or find someone who can introduce you. If you are meeting someone and there is a job available, indicate your interest. Demonstrate your energy and enthusiasm. You need to ask in order to receive.
5. Show gratitude
If someone gave you $200, you would thank them. Time is money, too. Make sure you always thank someone for meeting with you. This means a follow-up email and/or a handwritten note within 24 hours. People will want to continue to help you succeed if they know you are appreciative and responsible.
6. Take it to the next level
Learn what you can do for the person you just met with, and make sure you do it, whether it is meeting with someone they suggest, sending them an article you think might be of interest, or touching base in six months to check in. These actions help establish a foundation for a more meaningful relationship.
7. Keep an open mind and learn
Whether your goal is to get a job, find a mentor, or seek opportunities, meeting people will get you there. But it is really up to you — you need to go out and meet people to accomplish your goals. Be helpful to others, and they will be helpful to you, too.