I have been making new connections all my life, and making new connections in my professional life as a printing sales executive for over sixteen years. It’s no new revelation that over the past few years, the way we connect, socially and professionally, and the methods we connect through, have changed dramatically.
As a sales executive, one of my primary focuses is to seek out new business relationships. When I started in sales, my tools of connecting to new prospects were much simpler. I had a land-based telephone, a fax machine, and a car for making office visits, and traditional personal networking. I almost forgot the most important tool, my trusty pager for what was at the time only used in critical situations. With simpler options, new prospects were much more receptive with cold calls, mailed letters, and planned office visits and personal introductions.
Today, there are endless methods of connecting including, office phones, cell phones, email, instant messaging, text messaging, social networking, face to face networking, office visits, snail mail, and several others that I am sure I have left out. However, what keeps me up at night is my potential failures to make a good first impression based upon my message and the way I delivered it. I find myself constantly asking, “Would I have started a new relationship by sending an email instead of making a phone call?”, ”Would an office visit sealed the deal, or would I catch someone at a bad time and will my unannounced visit classify me as a simple nuisance?”
What I have learned along the way, is to be very thoughtful and flexible when attempting to make a new connection. Be mindful of their business, what methods of connections they are likely to support, and most of all, be respectful of their time. The first method of contact is a educated guess at best, but no matter what method is used, speak well, write well, and be mindful of the golden rule.
I would love to hear advice, suggestions, and your feedback on what successes you have had in making new connections. Please post a comment, send me email at email@example.com, text or call my cell phone at 317.225.8115, call my office at 317.664.7821, send me a fax to 317.635.2312, or connect with me on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/brianmiller74. Whew! I’ll leave off all the other methods for now.