3 Suggestions for Adding Value to Every Relationship
It’s one of the oldest networking rules in the book: Give before you receive. In other words, proactively help your network. When the time comes for your request, it won’t be hard to get a “yes.”
But most people don’t advertise the top items on their professional wish list. You can’t read minds, so how do you identify their needs?
Usually, you need to get a little creative. These three strategies are applicable to each and every person you know. Adding value just became far easier.
1. Ask If They Need an Introduction
Make a habit of asking your contacts, “Is there anyone I can connect you with?” Maybe someone is looking for a partner and would love to speak with your former roommate who’s in the same industry. Another person might be exploring a different career; she’d appreciate an introduction to the person at your current company with that role.
However, not everyone has such defined goals. Alternatively, you can tell people to describe their ideal employer, mentor, partner, supplier, etc. Once they’ve given you an idea of who they’re looking for, keep an eye out for the people you know who match this description.
2. Recommend Great Content
The next time you consume an excellent piece of content, don’t keep it to yourself. Chances are, those you know will enjoy it just as much.
Although books are the classic recommendation, some people aren’t big readers. Other potential suggestions include:
- Podcasts (either shows or specific episodes)
- White papers
- Blog posts
- Data visualizations
- Even music
If you have a feeling a particular person will like something, shoot them a quick email with the link and a brief note: “Hey, I [read, saw, heard] this and thought of you—tell me what you think.”
A more scalable approach is to add your recommendation to your email signature, like this:
– Your name
P.S. Check out this [book, podcast, show, etc.]—it’s [highly informative, entertaining, thought-provoking, etc.].
3. Stay Alert for Opportunities to Help
Potential opportunities to add value come up in conversation all the time—you just need to be looking for them.
To give you an idea, imagine you’re talking to a stranger at an industry networking event. She mentions her upcoming trip to Thailand. You’ve spent a lot of time in Asia, so you talk about the region at length.
When you get home, you could connect with this woman on LinkedIn and leave it at that. But to develop the relationship further, you might send her a message with your favorite restaurants in Bangkok. Want to really add value? Offer to connect her with your friend who’s lived in Thailand for 20 years and knows all of the insider secrets.
Stay alert for opportunities to help. Before you know it, you’ll automatically hone in on ways to deepen your connections.
About Signature Consultants, LLC
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the seventh consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is now the 14th largest IT staffing firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 26 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit www.sigconsult.com.