Be genuine when cultivating contacts
One contact at work might lead to a job. However, if you have a passion, you might cultivate someone in your off time.
Jonathan Alonso is marketing director at CNC Machines LLC (www.cncmachines.net) in Sanford, Florida, a used machinery dealer for machine shops and manufacturers of all sizes.
In his previous company, he gave marketing seminars and workshops to the company’s national consumer electronics franchisees.
A sales director and broker encouraged him to maximize the potential of LinkedIn.
“He challenged me to put my work out there and write LikedIn articles,” Alonso said. “The director would share them on his network.”
Alonso drew almost 2,500 followers the first month. When he was laid off about two months later, the sales director mentioned him on LinkedIn again.
In three weeks, the job hunter had six offers.
“I ended up working with the company of the director’s brother-in-law, where I am now,” he said. “(My colleague) rewarded me with so much. I can’t thank him enough.”
How did this man persuade another employee who was about his age to leverage his network for him?
Alonso recognized that the director was skilled in sales, but that the sales goals weren’t always attainable alone.
Alonso indicates that he built a friendship through work. When the director needed help in reaching production goals, Alonso gave it.
“Because of that I gained a respect with him. This quickly turned into a meaningful friendship,” he said. He keeps the relationship alive today.
You might need a different campaign based on friendliness. Alex Tran relocated from Orange County to Seattle, where she knew no one.
Her extroversion would be an asset to building contacts. The natural place for her to apply it was at the yoga studio she found.
She struck up a conversation with another woman.
“Hi, I’m Alex Tran,” she recalls saying. “If you want to hang out, I’m pretty open to it.” Her new friend introduced her to a sea of contacts. Nonetheless, Tran discovered that making friends in Seattle was more difficult than in other places where she’d lived.
Tran landed freelance work in web development while going to the yoga studio once or twice a day for socializing.
“I kept saying ‘hi’ to people and found the people to connect with,” she said.
Some months passed until her yoga contact said she was leaving a place of work.
Tran scooped up the opening, but languished on a data-entry track.
She also launched an activewear blog, created content and drew a following.
She applied to Seattle’s Hollingsworth LLC (www.hollingsworthllc.com), a national e-commerce and logistics company, where she became a digital marketing strategist. There she learned corporate SEO practices, and left trial-and-error SEO behind.
Both Alonso and Tran received personal rewards from their interactions with contacts by investing in the relationships first. Professional rewards followed.
Mildred Culp, Ph.D., may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.