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Get great at being a “connector”

An interesting question raised by someone who attended a recent “Networking” seminar of mine. I thought I would share it……. all names changed for privacy :-).

“Basically, I’m trying to get two persons to meet. If you remember, one of the  other students in Part 2 of your workshops was Jane from  ABC company. She was looking for networking contacts in the Hotel industry, and I happen to know someone there. I’ve kept in touch with her via e-mail, and my friend John (the person I want to introduce) is eager to meet. Jane has been out of the country for a while, but is about to return.
Now, I am the ‘connector’. I am supposed to organize something to get these two persons to talk. The problem is, I’m not sure how to handle this. If I invite both of them for a coffee/drink, then I guess I can introduce them to each other, but am clueless as to what to do beyond that. Hopefully they’d start talking about hopitality Industry together, but I personally have nothing to do with the Hospitality industry, and thus will be useless in the conversation. Would it be awkward of me to just sit back and listen and let them chat? Or is there something I’m not thinking of, that involves a more engaging 3-way conversation where, hopefully, these two can connect in a meaningful business way? Beyond these options, is there an adequate way to setup a meeting where I’m not even present? What is the best approach?”
And my response was…..

“There are two ways that you could work the introduction.

1. By email: to Jane  and and John. Subject : introducing Jane to John and vice versa. but before you do this, speak to both of them on the phone, asking if they are happy for you to give out their contact details.

Then give them a brief introduction to each other and contact details. End the message by saying “I will leave it to you both to set up a meeting with each other”

2. Or you could set up a dinner / coffee with both of them. I don’ t think it would be awkward for you to have a coffee with them. The initial meeting will probably be just a”light” conversation. They can always get down to the nitty gritty details of what they do at a follow up meeting.

I would go with option 1 as the most time effective. I have met many of my friends this way!”

I would love to hear if you have any other creative ways of being a “Connector”……

Carry on Connecting….. make the world smaller….

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