Real success is not only hard won, is rarely won alone. Balancing all those spinning plates takes know-how, long hours, and the skilled helping hands of others who support your career.
What we’re talking about goes beyond “It’s not who you know, it’s what you know.” This is about true connections, the kind that our friends at French Connection know all about.
It’s an attitude we most often apply to romantic relationships— that the next person we meet could be the one to change our life, but the same is true for business connections.
YOU NEVER KNOW…
Remember when your dad told you that story about the guy he met on a plane who turned into his business partner, which in turn led to the company that fed your college fund? OK. Maybe it’s not that exact story, but you hear this bit of knowledge from executives time and again: do not be dismissive of people because you think they can’t benefit you. It’s the wrong way to do business.
In fact, you should be more concerned with flipping the script. Head into every interaction thinking about what you can do for the other person. Over time this creates trust and makes you an invaluable asset, both personally and professionally.
That said, how do you:
MAKE YOURSELF INVALUABLE? BY BEING VALUABLE
We often hear about people who are successful in business finding a solution to a problem the client didn’t know existed. When you’re trying to build new relationships try to answer the question that’s not being asked.
Behind the curtain of small questions is often a much larger question that needs answering. If you are able to address the larger issue and get to the crux of what is being discussed in an initial meeting, you’ve built a solid foundation from the gate.
It doesn’t hurt to you look great while doing so. Like in a smart casual outfit perfect for keeping comfortable while making the right first impression.
MAKE CONNECTIONS, GET CONNECTIONS
“I don’t do favors, for favors.” A helpful bit of business advice that applies to building authentic relationships.
Because another way to make yourself valuable is to offer services that are not a loss to you. For example, an email that connects people costs you very little time, but what you're showing confidence in recommending them.
The person you help out is likely to help you out down the line— often without you even asking. You’ll be top of mind as a good contact they’ll want to introduce to someone else. So don’t hoard your contacts. No one likes a hoarder.
SLOW DOWN, YOU’RE GOING WAY TOO FAST
It’s not a country song, it’s the truth. Fostering IRL relationships has taken a backseat to social media connections, but it’s effecting that speed with which we communicate in person.
Divided attention and half-hearted will never equal success. Focus in, put down the phone, and have a conversation that lives outside the social bubble.
THAT SAID, DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA CONNECTIONS
Liking a photo or updating your Facebook status is not connection. But there is power in social media and real connections can be made.
Is there someone on Instagram that you follow that you could see yourself potentially working with one day? Go beyond the like button and DM with a short message about how you admire their work, give a small elevator pitch, and sell them on a small idea that you could collaborate on. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Trust.
FINALLY. BE AN EXPERIENCE, WOMAN. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
It’s a concept that we find easy to apply to brands. “Be an experience brand.” You should think of your business self in the same capacity. You want to give people the experience of you that’s accurate, honest, innovative and dynamic. You want to ensure that you are amplifying every opportunity given to you to make for a great business opportunity in a smart way.
Don’t FCUK this up. Or rather, do. And make the connection.
French Connection + Create & Cultivate want you to look your best when building key business relationships. Which is why we’ve teamed up to giveaway a $500 shopping spree with FCUK. To enter fill out the below and go meet someone new today. Sure we have no way of checking if you do, but it’s only to your benefit. Contest ends Friday, April 29th. 11:59pmPST.
This giveaway has closed.
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