How to Connect With Anyone — Part 1

As your career mentor, I’m always looking for good advice from interesting people. Scott Dinsmore is a very cool guy who has some great advice on networking. I love his advice on how to connect with anyone. If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I am a big believer in the power of relationships. I think that relationships are so important to your life and career success that I devote 20 tweets in my career mentor book Success Tweets to them.

Scott’s thoughts on how to connect with people and building relationships are priceless. Take a look….

The 31 Habits of People Who Connect with Anyone: Part 1 – Scott Dinsmore

1. Make friends. This is the foundation. Making genuine connections is nothing more than making friends. When you’re about to approach someone, ask “how would I treat this person if they were my close friend or someone I’d want to be a close friend?” You don’t have hidden agendas and constantly push products and talk about yourself with your friends. You put friends first. You listen to them. You hear their problems so you can help in any way you can. Act accordingly.

2. Smile. This is by far the fastest way in the world to create a connection. It’s also a powerful show of confidence, which people respect and are drawn to. Smiles are contagious and the simple act makes people feel better. Whether it’s a close friend, a bus driver, someone you’re dying to meet or you’re just walking down the street or into a room of strangers, there is no stronger opener.

3. Be genuine. If you’re not connecting with people because you care about having them a part of your life, then stop. If you’re connecting just because you want to get yourself further up the ladder, then you’ve come to the wrong place. There is only one type of connection – one you genuinely care about. Find someone you actually do care to meet and get to know. Anything else is a waste of time.

4. Contribute. Meeting people is about making their lives better. Whether that’s by giving them a smile, a new job or anything in between – there is a way to help everyone. See everyone as a chance to help. Give like crazy, embrace generosity and make others more successful.

5. Know what matters to them – do your research. The more specific you can help someone the better. This comes from learning all you can about the people you want to meet. Not to manipulate, but so you can actually do something meaningful for them. Read their blogs and books, take their courses, sign up for their newsletters, learn about their interests, family, passions and charity work. Anything is game. With today’s online tools, there is no excuse not to learn about someone before trying to interact with them.

6. Start immediately and connect long before you want something. Don’t wait for the right time, more credentials or some arbitrary milestone. Those are excuses for inaction. Connecting is similar to planting trees – the best time to start was 20 years ago, but the second best is right now. No one wants to connect with someone who’s just out to get something. You will no doubt ask for help in all kinds of ways from the people you know, but that is far from the first step. Start as early as possible and connect because you want to, not because you need something. There’s really no other way to be genuine.

7. Make people a priority. There is no more important task for anyone than surrounding yourself with the right people. It’s all of our job and a part of every day. It’s not something we do for an hour every week or two. It’s a way of being. A way of life.

8. Be open to conversation. Embrace conversation with those around you. Everyone is a chance to learn something. Your server, the guy next to you on a park bench or plane flight. Even if you came to read a book, realize the best part of your day might be learning about the world of the person next to you.

9. Be well-groomed. I hate to have to mention this but if you smell like you haven’t showered for three weeks, look like you just spent the past four days strung out in Vegas, or have the breath of a dead cat, people are not going to want to talk to you. It’s not about wearing expensive clothes and watches, but it is about being presentable and physically enjoyable to be around.

10. Embrace persistence. Be comfortable with not getting responses. Most connections take a while and can’t be rushed. And while you’re at it, get used to “No” too. People are busy. Especially the well-known high-up folks. Just because you don’t hear back or get a no at first, does not mean it’s over. Most people send one email or make one phone call and think they’ve done their job. Not even close – that’s just the very beginning. If you have a way to uniquely help them, then it’s your job to get in touch. They will thank you for it. Don’t be a stalker. Don’t be the annoying nag. Friendly genuine persistence is a power few use.

That’s part 1 of Scott Dinsmore’s advice on connections.  Parts two and three will follow tomorrow and the next day.

Your career mentor,



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