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How coachable are you?
Are you stressed?
Are you an adrenaline junky?
Can you be successful?

10 proven strategies to help you make positive business connections.

by Pamela Dunn
High Performance/Business Coach, Professional Speaker

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Anyone can be successful at meeting people — if they know the correct strategies to follow. The secret to making the right kind of connection is knowing how to attract someone and inspire them to want to give you a chance.


1. LOOK PROFESSIONAL AND CARRY YOURSELF WELL. If people don't know you at ALL, they are going to completely judge you by the way you look. It's unfortunate, but it's true and research has even proven this. So, make sure you dress appropriately, your hair is well groomed, and you shake a person's hand while looking them in the eye in any business setting. Also, be sure to use a professional voice and pronounce your words clearly. Practice what you're going to say in your head or out loud, so you don't stumble on your words.

2. KNOW YOUR OUTCOMES. What do you want from this person and what's your objective? You should ALWAYS ask yourself this question before you make contact with anyone. For most business people, the outcomes are to let prospects know who you are, why they should be interested in you, and what your goal is. This strategy helps people improve their performance and results because they are really clear about what they want and are able to translate that to others.

3. SMILE PLEASE. There's an old saying that a smile is worth a thousand words. You know what, it's true! When you see someone smile, it tells you that they're approachable. People like people who seem approachable because they feel more comfortable with them and will trust them more. Please note that if you're making telephone contact with someone, it's still important to smile. People can tell through your voice fluctuations if you're smiling or not.

4. READ THE OTHER PERSON'S BODY LANGUAGE. If you're approaching someone in person and you start talking to them and notice that they're not looking at you, it means they're distracted or ignoring you. So you'd better change what you're saying because they will miss “hearing” your important message.

5. YOUR TIMING IS VERY IMPORTANT. People like getting approached about certain things at certain times of the day. Try to find out if the person you want to contact likes calls in the morning or evening or if he/she prefers to communicate by e-mail. If you don't know, simply ask their assistant, employees or them directly.

6. BE HONEST. People can easily tell when someone is giving them baloney. Be sincere when you contact someone. You're taking up their most precious commodity: time. If you're a salesperson who has to use a script, memorize your pitch so you can talk naturally.

7. GIVE THEM SOMETHING THEY NEED. Don't waste people's time with conversation that doesn't interest them. If you're not sure if they'll be interested in what you have to say, keep your introductory pitch short and sweet. Then continue if they're interested in hearing more. To have the most impressive introduction, do some background research about the person online or at the library. And then you can approach them with what you know they want to hear.

8. GO OUT OF YOUR WAY. If someone is legitimately busy and they can't talk with you, go out of your way to find out what time is convenient for them. Or if you they feel more comfortable meeting you in person rather than having a telephone discussion, go meet them — if it's really important to you. I've known people who have traveled 3 hours to have a first contact meeting or sometimes half way around the world.

9. GO WHERE YOU THINK YOUR CONTACTS WILL BE. When you want to date someone, you go to bars, bookstores, the gym, parties and other places where there are a lot of people. In business, you also must go where other professionals are. For example, I've found that some of the best ways to meet someone is to:

  • E-mail your contact directly.
  • Go through your database of contacts and e-mail your friends or associates to find out if they know your contact.
  • Go to a seminar where the person you want to meet is speaking or to an event he or she will be attending.
  • Read an article your contact wrote or commented in and e-mail them about the article.

10. BE BOLD AND DARING IN A TACTFUL WAY. Make a call or in-person introduction to the person you want to meet. Don't sit around and contemplate if you should do it because it will never happen. Be daring, but in a tactful way. Don't harass people. If you do, you'll annoy them and they won't like you. Then they'll never listen to what you have to say so make sure you're tactful!

The above strategies really do work. In fact, they've helped me and my clients on numerous occasions. Start using these techniques today, so you can begin making your own successful business connections. Good luck!


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