5 Tips on How to Connect With People You Don’t Know (Part II)


I have posted this article : “5 Tips on How to Connect With People You Don’t Know” six months ago, before I started to use Twitter.

This morning I met “@Coach_Colette”  from New York City in person in Brussels while she was giving a talk for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s project Global Library grantees.

I met Colette on Twitter through Leo “@srleosalazar”  I also met Leo on Twitter and after a couple of  Tweets, Leo offered me a  fantastic virtual experience : A “live” Twitter interview.  See the transcript in part II of the interview http://ht.ly/2Gum7

I have not met Leo in person yet, but we used Skype and I could hear his voice and noticed Leo had a great presence when asking questions.  We might become business partners or not but it does not matter. What is really interesting and amazing is how Twitter helps make “statistically impossible connections” with people you don’t know. I have had a couple of virtual Twitter friends that I met in person and some others I followed on Facebook or Linkedin.

Building a strong network of friends, relatives or colleagues is one of the most powerful tools that you can develop for being resilient, especially for the expat ‘s “following spouse”. Expatriation is a great experience for most people but usually it is not so easy for the “trailing spouse”, a majority of them being women.

Here some tips about effective networking for developing professional connections and making new friends

Tip #1: Attract People
You cannot control what people think, but you can create energy that draw people to you by being authentic, establish credibility, convey self-confidence, tell personal stories, anecdotes and your passions in life.

Tip #2 Ask for Help
Usually people are very happy to share what they know especially with new comers, but do not abuse, for example do not ask for a job directly to someone you don’t know. Do not hesitate to ask experts on how to use Twitter tools or other Linkedin tips, don’t be shy if you don’t ask you just slow down your learning curve.

Tip # 3 Do Not Sell: One of the worst behavior repulsing people rather than attracting them is trying to excessively sell your services or products and over-promote yourself. You can share resources you created and when appropriate tell about your company and your services, but be subtle.

Tip# 4: Focus on the Other Person’s Interests
The best way to build a strong relationship is to be genuine and try to understand the other person’s perspective. Listen actively with all your senses by concentrating totally on what it is said, the body language and by asking powerful questions. I hate the “elevator speech” technique to tell all about yourself in 120 seconds. I think it is better to try to understand the person first before being understood .

Tip #5: Learn How to Make the Most of Linkedin and Other Social Media
For people who had to quit their jobs or want to take the opportunity of an expatriation to start a new career or learn new skills such as learning a new language, I recommend to start by linkedin. Participate in groups, Q&A, create you own linkedin groups, make a blog or a newsletter with content focused on your passions and interests. Use Slideshare for importing Powerpoint presentations, see events your connections are going, read recommendations etc. Look for advises and webinars about using Linkedin or Twitter,  there are tons of them available for free.

Attending multiple networking events and using social networks is hard work, but it will pay off.

It is important to meet people in person when ever it is possible or use Skype . Use online tools carefully as you cannot see reactions, emotions and feelings of people.

What you say in person at a networking event is usually not recorded, unless you are a rock star or a politician. On social media everything you post:  words, pictures, comments, questions, links etc. are there forever so be smart use those tools to build your personal brand not to destroy your reputation !

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9 thoughts on “5 Tips on How to Connect With People You Don’t Know (Part II)

  1. @Coach_Colette September 21, 2010 at 10:46 pm Reply

    Anne, it was great to meet you today. And, yes, I believe we followed all 5 of your Tips on How to Connect with People You Don’t Know! Thanks for welcoming me to Brussels. I can now see how you make your expat clients feel so at home!

    Best, Coach_Colette

    http://twitter.com/Coach_Colette

    • Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach September 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm Reply

      Colette, Thank you for your feedback and nice comment.
      Do you have advices to give to people relocating from one state to another, such as New York and Florida?

    • MALIK May 21, 2012 at 3:37 am Reply

      I NEED A FRIEND WHO WILL SHOW TIPS ABOUT LIFE, & U’RE U THE WRIGT PERSON FOR ME FROM (GOD).

    • MALIK May 21, 2012 at 3:48 am Reply

      I WHANT TO KNOW YOU

  2. Dr. Shannon Reece December 4, 2010 at 5:19 pm Reply

    Anne, I just came across your post and love your 5 tips, which I would categorize as proper social media etiquette for any business person. I agree that social media avenues are fantastic for expanding one’s reach and opening doors to networking with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet face to face. That being said, I am looking forward to opportunities to connect in person with those I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know online.

    • Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach December 4, 2010 at 5:41 pm Reply

      Hi Shannon,
      Thank you for making a nice comment even if you don’t know me :-)
      Me too I like to connect in person whenever possible with like-minded people.
      I am already reading your tweets and what you write on your blog, a good inspiration.
      Let’s have a chat or a talk, Skype is good tool for that. Please do not hesitate to contact me or send a note.
      My Skype ID is AnneEgros
      Looking forward to hearing from you soon

  3. [...] The same way an HR person or a hiring manager will get information about you via Google, you can learn a lot about companies by connecting with the employees online. If you want to learn about a specific country before accepting an international assignment, contact expatriates and locals who live there. Once the contact is made online, try to follow-up by a phone call or Skype or meet in person to share about your needs and how you can also return the favor by helping those who helped you. Do not hesitate to contact people you don’t know. People online are much more open to connect and talk to you even if you are a perfect stranger. Read more about How to Connect With People You Don’t Know  [...]

  4. [...] 2-To contact other expatriates and people you don’t know who can give you vital information such as schools, neighborhoods, medical support etc. to help you make an informed choice regarding your next International assignment and make contacts even months before your move. Read more about “5 Tips on how to connect with people yo don’t know”:  [...]

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