One of the things I’ve found to be true of all rich, successful people is that they know a lot of people.
How did they get that way?
And more importantly, how can little old me meet all these successful people I want to meet, people who don’t necessarily have any reason to give me the time of day?
These questions have interested me for a long time. I’m kind of a slow learner and so it took me a very very long time, but I’ve finally discovered a technique that works.
First I’ll quickly explain how I found the technique. I knew that the golden rule of networking is to give before you get, but not in all situations do I have something to give. For example, what could I give, say, Richard Branson that’s not already within his easy reach? What can I give to someone who’s “ahead” of me in every way? Nothing, right?
Then one day it dawned on me what I could give. Even if I have nothing else to give someone, I can still give sincere appreciation and a legitimate feeling of usefulness and importance the person. This can take the form of simply asking thoughtful questions, listening with genuine interest, and then repeating from the first step.
So when I wanted to improve my salon scheduling software business by making connections in the beauty industry, I decided to put this idea in action by performing interviews with beauty industry influencers with a strong focus on the other person. What I’ve found is that not only are my interviewees very happy to spend the time, but there’s also a strong sense of mutual goodwill built up by the end of the interview.
And in my case I’m also giving the other person the opportunity to promote his or her business, but I don’t know that that piece of it is super relevant. I’ve also done interviews when there was no economical component to it at all, and it still had the same connecting effect.
So there is my suggestion: if you want to meet successful, high-profile people, one good technique is to interview them.
And by the way, here’s a tactical note: the way I’ve done it in the past is to talk to the person over a Skype video chat and record the session using Ecamm Call Recorder which I then upload to Wistia. Then I have the interview transcribed by Casting Words and put it all up on a blog post.