Networking has been praised as one of top 3 skills needed in this century. There is no surprise everybody tries do something and call than networking.
I’ve read like a dozen of articles (including two articles previous month, sorry, Russian language down the links: 1, 2), at least one book (Never eat alone) and did try to network on a dozen occasions.
I’ve spread like 300+ business cards and I think number of people reaching out to me because of these was under 10.
Observing something not working for a while is a great exercise. It urges me to attempt a few fixes here and there. This short opus will be saying about fixing Facebook introductions but in the same way you can improve your intros on LinkedIn, Gmail even real life elevator pitches grow from this.
Facebook: inbound introduction statistics
So you’ve pushed that damn ‘Add Friend’ / ‘Connect’ or whatever button.
Next you immediately get attracted to something else. Social networks excel at distracting people, no surprise.
Some time will pass (imagine a few weeks just to be sure). Then I’ll see you request and ask you in return: “Hey, do we know each other?”.
Below are the statistics for the answers I was getting during the latest few months.
- no answer (18) ||||||||||||||||||
- recruiting (2) ||
- bullshit talk (2) ||
- accidentally (1) |
- travel (1) |
The only interesting case being a traveler girl which quickly lost interest when discovered that I was no longer in Thailand : )
Out of the blue some weirdo is asking you where do you met him from. It’s not something which can be done quickly, so you postpone the answer. Indefinitely.
Receiver side fix
I’ve also experimented and suggested people to tell a bit about themselves. Before asking that I was telling quite a bit about myself first.
There were no cases which I’d call a success. Contrary, somehow me going to the expense of introduction made people try to sell or ask something instead of introducing themselves : )
- sale or ask (4) ||||
- later (2) ||
- manipulation (1) |
Some people were telling me that they will answer ‘later’ which is basically a sheepish way of saying “no, never”.
Communication contracts I’m used to are only good when all the sides are willing to contribute.
Thus I conclude that receiver side fixes are inappropriate here.
Sender side fix
Whenever you reach out to some one, please do your part and put a few words about you reasons and who you are on to a welcome message.
- State your interest
- Follow the norm of reciprocity and tell how you can be useful to the recipient
- Tell how you’d like to be remembered? (some people claim they don’t have problems remembering other people, I’m troublesome in this respect)
- Make this short and inspiring (which is also a form of giving so reciprocity is on your side)
- . . .
Bonus: once you’ll have enough times quickly outlining your use / interests to people on Facebook, it will be much easier to do this in real life.
Lies, damned lies and statistics
Good introductions were quietly excluded from the collected statistics. One reason for this might be that I’ve started gathering statistics during super long streak of worthless contacts – who knows.
Anyway, I remember at least 2 awesome new contacts I’ve got this way. Plus this inspired me to try networking in yet another way. I’ll share this inspiring, eloquent and sometimes still kitty exercise later, once I’ll reflect enough on it myself : )