I did a presentation today for the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Business Growth Series. I was asked the following question, How do you get connected to the decision maker of a company?
A good question and one that many people ask. The answer is simple, but it is not easy. Here is the answer for all of you who want to know the simple answer; Ask you network to connect you. There I told you it was simple, just ask.
Ah, but I also said, it was not easy. Here is the rest of the answer. There is a lot of work that must go into your network prior to asking and getting the connections.
1. You must develop your network – Too many business people spend all their time building these huge databases of people, constantly adding to it. They have very wide networks, but not very deep. Stop adding people to your network, take the time to identify the people in your network whom you need to really develop a relationship with. Go into your network and start working on building relationships. See who is already referring you, find your key sources and connectors. Spend time working in your network, develop the people you already know versus adding more people to the network.
2. Identify your key connectors. Who are they? In every network of people there are key connectors who will be able to connect you to a multitude of people you would not otherwise have the opportunity to meet. Build deeper relationships with your key connectors.
3. Know who you want to be connected to. This means you need to do a little homework and find out who this contact is you are after. To often I hear “I want an introduction to the head of Marketing for the XYZ company.” It would be more effective when asked this way: “I am looking for a personal introduction to David Jones, of the XYZ Company.” Now your network knows who you want to be connected to and how you want to be connected. They can easily look in their database and see if they know that person. Most networkers never do the home work to identify who they want to know.