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Business conference. A lot of people in business suits. Everyone exchanges business cards and “shoots” their eyes on the sides in search of “large fish”.

Surely such a picture appears in your head when you think about business networking. But this is a stereotype, says the author of the book “Never Eat Alone and Other Networking Rules” by Kate Ferrazzi.

How to make useful contacts

In fact, building relationships is a long and painstaking work, which you need to do not at conferences.

Kate Ferrazzi grew up in a poor family, but thanks to the ability to make the right acquaintances, he graduated from Harvard Business School, worked as marketing director at the international companies Deloitte and Starwood Hotels, and then founded his own consulting agency Ferrazzi Greenlight.

Now Kate Ferrazzi calls himself the main networker in the world. We publish some tips on business networking from his book.

1. Do your homework
Kate Ferrazzi prepares to meet a new person in advance. Googles him, looks through profiles in social networks, communicates with people from his environment.

All this in order to understand what a potential acquaintance is fond of, how he spends his free time, what achievements he is proud of, and to use this knowledge during communication.

The author calls such training “homework.” He assures that it is mandatory to fulfill it if you want to achieve a good result from the meeting.

How to make useful contacts

“Your goal is to find common interests with a stranger, and for this you need to establish a strong relationship with him. Knowing his preferences, needs and interests, you can not only get to know him, but also impress him, ”the author writes.

Politician Winston Churchill planned his meetings the same way. Everyone knew him as a genius of oratory and a master of witty expressions, but few knew how long and hard he had been preparing before each meeting.

How to make useful contacts

Churchill understood: you need to know your audience very well in order to “press” the right buttons.

2. Make a contact database
Kate Ferrazzi is sure that to achieve the goals you need to make lists of people who can help you achieve them. For example, if you want to bring your business to new markets, look for the main players there, write down their contacts in your database and plan how you can get to know them.

How to make useful contacts

The experience of Ferrazzi shows that this method works.

In 2000, he was appointed CEO of YaYa and set the task: to develop the business so that investors and potential buyers are interested in it.

At that time, the company created technology for developing games in online mode, which could attract market attention. However, she had no clients and profits, respectively, as well.

How to make useful contacts
What Ferrazzi did: created a plan to achieve the goal for three months, a year and three years. Each part of the plan obliged him to meet new people from the industry. He compiled a list of all market players – from company founders to journalists and programmers. And he began to get acquainted.

Two years later, Forbes wrote about the successes of YaYa. The company became recognizable in the market, and managed to sell it for good money. Helpful contacts and business networking helped to achieve this, the author is sure.

How to make a “cold” call “warm”:
At the beginning of the conversation, mention the person your interlocutor knows. This will make communication softer and friendlier.

Explain your value

Examine the information about the company in which your interlocutor works in advance. So you will understand how you can be useful.

Speak short and to the point

Avoid unnecessary details during the first conversation, it is better to tell all the details at a meeting.

3. Use your hobbies
Kate Ferrazzi rarely attends professional business conferences. He says that the majority of the audience there are unemployed, desperate people in search of useful contacts. If you are not like that, you will have nothing to talk about.

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Instead of business events, the author advises attending events related to your hobbies – sports, books, movies. So you can meet people who are close in spirit to you, and “common interests are the main component of strong relationships.”

For example, Ferrazzi made many good friends because of his love of gastronomy and sports.

How to make useful contacts

How common interests bring people together can be seen in the Kickstarter social platform. With the help of the site, millions of entrepreneurs raised money for their projects. This proves people’s willingness to help others if their values ​​are similar.

4. Tell us about yourself on social networks.
If there is no way to communicate with people live, communicate with them on social networks. Using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, you can talk about yourself to the world – who you are, what you do, what you want to achieve and what you can offer.

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