There’s a smarter way to establish business relationships. Even better, you can pull this off with fewer people than usual.
Sociologists state that information can be disseminated better by becoming the bridge between two small groups instead of traveling within a single large group. This strategy harnesses the tendency of people to cluster within known groups like old friends. Even if people are open to new relationships, they’re more comfortable with the ones they already know.
This can come in handy in London networking events, as it narrows down your target clusters to a few, the most important ones. If you want to publish your books, save your good introductions for literary agents, publishers, and publicists; in a gathering, you can be an information broker, ferrying knowledge between clusters. The publishers are more concerned with publishing books that will sell, while literary agents focus on trimming the fat to ease the publishers’ workload. If either cluster thought of an effective way to streamline the process, it’s up to the broker to explain it in a language the other can understand.
In other words, it all boils down to translation. Social entrepreneur Michael Simmons says this is usually the most underappreciated part of introductions.
Put Into Practice
You already have your info, but how will you get the clusters to notice you? Career coach Shana Johnson suggests making a sentence out of answers to three questions:
- Who am I?
- Who do I work with, or want to work with?
- What do I help these organisations or people do?
With any luck, this one-liner may spur a long conversation between new acquaintances and lead to exchanging calling cards. This isn’t meant to enhance sales because that’s the long-term effect; this is about building your credibility as an entrepreneur, as most searches for reputable businesses these days rely on reputation.
When you’re ready to add the mark in “market”, scour every square metre of London via online referral organisations like BNI London. These firms can keep you updated on the latest gatherings in the city. Like with choosing your clusters, you don’t have to attend every event, just the essential ones. Make a list of your chosen networking events in London, then talk about the referral.
Above all else, “Talk now, sell later.”
(Source: Why Being The Most Connected Is A Vanity Metric, Forbes)