The Little Black Book of Connections

Book Notes & Synopsis

Andrew J. Chwalik | September 19, 2017

Andrew J. Chwalik | September 19, 2017


This book by Jeffrey Gitomer is all about networking. It walks us through the reasons we should be networking, how to build meaningful connections, and how to keeps those relationships producing value on both sides. Connecting with others is human nature, but there are right and wrong ways to do so.

Don’t just use your connections only when you need them. “Are you one of those people who calls once in a while just to suck blood?” Consistently reach out to your network to offer value, not to ask a favor. Your connections can be the difference between success and failure, manage them well.

“Who can you call at 2:00 a.m.?” If you have an answer to this question, you’re nurturing those connections correctly. These are the people you can count on. Take another step back; are you the answer to that question for someone? Hopefully.

Offering value is the right way to build a meaningful connection. People will spend more time with those individuals who create value for them. It’s a simple, but important rule. Just make sure all your actions offer value, it’s easier that way.

We’ve all heard of the “six degrees of separation” — (1) you know someone (2) who knows someone (3) who knows someone (4) who knows someone (5) who knows someone (6) who knows someone. That’s probably true, but doesn’t mean anything unless you’re someone that people want to connect with. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.

The 17.5 Strategies, Guidelines, and Rules of Connecting:

  1. Be friendly first, and everything else falls into place

  2. Project your self-image in a way that breeds confidence in others

  3. Your ability to look someone in the eye as you speak to them is a tell-tale sign of your own self-respect

  4. Your constant positive attitude will breed positive responses and positive results

  5. No connection is made without some form of risk

  6. Ninety percent of success is showing up prepared

  7. The less you focus on your motive to meet, the more likely it is that your connection will be successful

  8. Take a genuine interest in other people before you ask them to take a genuine interest in you

  9. The sooner you can find something in common with the other guy, the sooner all the barriers will disappear

  10. The higher up the ladder you go, the more cautious people will be of your advances

  11. Your projected image will often determine your ability to make a real connection

  12. People judge you by every action you take

  13. Provide value

  14. Transferring your message with EXCELLENT communication skills

  15. Staying in touch is more important and more valuable than making the initial connection

  16. Since you don’t know what day a powerful connection will be made, you must be ready every day

  17. Your present reputation determines your future fate

17.5. Be yourself. Talk real, act real, be real and you will find that others will do the same in return

The best way to learn any skills is through practice, trial by fire. Find a group of people you want to connect with and take the steps to go out and make it happen. Keep the momentum going by using those new connections to generate other targets. The best way to connect to anyone is through a mutual connection. You network from previous projects and adventures can and should carry over, if you’re doing it right.

Providing value to a connection is the most important thing you can do. Once you’re consistently providing that value, use those connections to gain more introductions. The absolute best way to connect with someone you want to meet is through someone else. Set goals. Define your objectives. Figure out who you want to meet and go out and make it happen.

Karma is a real thing. Helping someone without expecting something in return will allow someone to help you later down the line. Be straight up about your intentions and help without reservation. People are more likely to connect with you when your friendly and honestly just looking to help. Reach out to these people in ways that matter to them. You wouldn’t offer someone who is lactose intollerant a glass of milk, right? I hope not…

Via Charlie Jones, “The only difference between where you are right now, and where you’ll be next year at this same time, are the people you meet and the books you read.”

If you want to learn how relationships succeed and fail, just look to you family. The various makeup of relationships can offer great insights on how to manage different personalities. Just ten hours of dillegent and intentional networking can double your business. Learn fast and implement abundantly.

Here’s an awesome example of how to create value and establish a great connection:

“Fax over a sales lead to the attention of the CEO of a company on Monday. Ask him to get it to one of his sales people. Do the same thing Tuesday. Do the same thing Wednesday. Do the same thing Thursday. On Friday, instead of faxing the anticipated sales lead, call the CEO’s administrative person and tell them you are the “sales lead guy” and that you wanted to give him the next lead personally. The CEO will pick up the phone eager to take the lead, he will also ask what he can do for you in return. Request either nothing or a 15-minute meeting. The opposite of drooling is value.”

The best way to engage with potential connections at an event is by asking them questions about their lives. Get an arsenal of questions ready before attending an event. Make the interaction personal, unique, and something they will tell others about (like giving people your cat’s business card).

“If you just follow the rules of connecting, by asking for their opinion or experience, you can connect anywhere in the world.”

One of the best things you can do to stand out is by sending interesting “thank yous”. When someone does you a solid, you better always be sending them some message of gratitude. You can never go wrong with a hand written thank you. But feel free to spice it up. Why not send them an autographed book? Or a sports card of their favorite athlete?

This should go without saying, but negativity never builds a connection.Negative topics don’t deepen a relationship. Build relationships by showing your interest in others through asking questions about them. Also, never try to “one-up” someone.

Here’s a legit public speaking tip on what not to do:

“The first thing the speaker says is, “good morning!” The audience meekly replies, “good morning.” The speaker then responds, “I said, good morning!” in a louder voice. Whereupon the audience screams back, “GOOD MORNING!” but is secretly giving the speaker the middle finger. The speaker has manipulated the audience against their will, has instantly become either unconnectable or less connectable, and will spend the next ten minutes trying to recover or establish him or herself.” (if you’re going to ask a question, make sure it has value for the entire audience)

If you’re in sales, stop selling and start connecting. Sales is built on relationships, not cold calls and telling people what they want to hear. Sincere value is the name of the game.

Always be aware of your surroundings and the people in those surroundings. Look for connections. Observe commonalities. Offer value. Check out what people have hanging on their walls; pictures, plaques, or awards. Once you find a similarity, the connection bridge has been built.

The “Law of Attraction” Formula

  • Gather your value and valuable information, and commit to it in writing

  • List places where you could appear in person, and in print, that would impact existing customers and products.

  • Expose yourself on all fronts.

  • Once you have appeared in print and in person, and have been able to expose your ideas one-on-one, it's time to say them to a group.

  • Once your exposure begins, your attraction seeds are planted. Your response is based on how well you water and maintain your garden.

Here’s a cool networking event idea:

“It's called NetWeaving. Start with your best. You're best friends, your best contacts, your best influencers, and even your best prospects. Throw a party. Doesn't have to be big. More like a gathering with a message and a mission: help others first.

The best way to get referrals is to give referrals. Give them in every situation possible. It never hurts to offer. Plus, it’s a great way to offer value.

- Andrew Chwalik

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