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Networking: A Two-way Street

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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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Adrian Miller is the founder of Adrian Miller Sales Training. To find out more or to visit her blog go to