Networking: A Two-Way Street

Wow, I stumbled across this article that I wrote in 2012 and I must say that it’s still highly relevant. What do you think?


If you go to networking events, you’ll hear participant after participant say something like “a good lead for me is __________.” Really?

I must admit to having some difficulties when I hear one of my fellow networkers recite that familiar line, and here’s why: I make lots and lots of “cyber-introductions,” and when I do so, I always endeavor to explain to both parties exactly why I think that the introduction could be beneficial for each of them.

Perhaps they both network with similar types of referral sources and can help each other to expand their respective sources.
Perhaps they are both on the speaking circuit and can help each other to get speaking gigs.
Perhaps they work with similar types of clients and can (potentially) see opportunities for each other.
Let me clarify further: I’m not talking about introducing someone to a contact who has actually asked me for a referral or introduction. I’m talking about the intros that are more often born from networking and are valuable in terms of “six degrees of separation” rather than immediate client acquisition.

A good networking lead is reciprocal; contacts often wonder what’s in it for them. In order to be a successful, an introduction must benefit both parties. So think about changing it up a bit at networking meetings, and when introducing yourself, make certain to tell people how a good lead for you is…a mutual one.

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