One way to keep those connections strong? Bring two of them together, advises Liz Lynch, director of the Center for Networking Excellence (www.networkingexcellence.com). By making an introduction or a recommendation, you become known as a go-to person. “Your circle of influence grows,” she says. “Everyone will want to ask you for a recommendation or be recommended by you.”
Four ways to make a connection, according to Lynch:
1. Connect someone to a friend. Do you have two colleagues who’ve never met yet seem to be on the same wavelength and would benefit from knowing each other? Arrange for the three of you to get together.
2. Connect someone to a vendor. Do you work with a bank or printing service that has done an excellent job? Make a referral. Tip: Hand out the vendor’s business cards to others.
3. Connect someone to a resource. Do you use a service that helps you tremendously? Spread the word. Tip: Keep a running list of favorite florists, plumbers, books, etc., to pass along.
4. Connect someone to an organization. Involved in a group or cause that you feel strongly about? Share it. Examples: Tell a co-worker about valuable volunteer work you’ve done with a health organization; encourage an ambitious admin to consider certification work through the International Association of Administrative Professionals; or hook up a new friend with information about your book club.
We all have something to give. And sharing makes for a stronger network.