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Connections

Building Bridges as a Connector

Connecting is Building Bridges

Most people probably don’t think of building bridges when it comes to networking, or making connections. Most probably think of all the things that AREN’T part of making true connections.

What it Isn’t

Being a connector ISN’T:

  • passing out business cards,
  • collecting business cards,
  • being the life of the party,
  • being in the spotlight,
  • remembering everybody’s name and birthday,
  • schmoozing,
  • self-interest, or
  • being a LinkedIn Open Networker (LION).

Instead, making connections is about building bridges and removing roadblocks.

We’ll talk about removing roadblocks in a future post.

But today, let’s talk about building bridges.

Building Bridges with Your Words

When you’re building bridges, you’ll say things like:

  • “Would that be a good referral for you?”
  • “Do you know Joan at Acme Industries?”
  • “I know someone you should meet.”
  • “Have you considered ______?”
  • “Will you be my guest at _____?”
  • “Have you read ______?”
  • “Can I share a podcast with you?”
  • “Would you feel comfortable presenting that at ______?”
  • “May I introduce you to ______?”

Because looking for connections is the key to being a connector.

Connecting the dots, filling in the blanks, making introductions, easing conversations, inviting friends, applying wisdom; all of these are Connector Activities.

How to Build Bridges

When you reach out to someone on LinkedIn, give them a reason for connecting with you. Which means you need to HAVE a reason for connecting. What value are you offering? Do you have business you would like to send them? Is there someone you would like to introduce them to?

Also, when someone reaches out to you on LinkedIn, ask them their reason for connecting with you. Ask open-ended questions like, “How can I help you?” or “What can I do for you?”

And whenever you meet someone at a networking event, listen twice as much as you speak, and listen for opportunities to make an introduction or offer an invitation to an event.

Looking for Opportunities for Building Bridges

Where can you go to meet people for whom you can be a bridge-builder?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • A music venue,
  • A meetup group,
  • A software users group,
  • An entrepreneurial focus group,
  • A networking happy hour,
  • A morning Bible study,
  • A local book club,
  • A regular lunch and learn,
  • Toastmasters,
  • BNI,
  • A local coffee shop,
  • Donut shop,
  • Lunch counter,
  • An event at your Chamber of Commerce, or
  • A book reading at your library.

What do you do to build bridges?

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