Scarlett Letter #147: Want to charm new people in your network? Try this.

Recently, I received a letter from a non-competitor in my industry (architecture/engineering/construction). It turns out that we are just ‘one degree of separation’ from one another. To quickly close the gap, she decided to dig around—just enough to uncover any commonalities that we might have with one another.

But then, rather than selecting the most obvious, ‘safe’ commonalities, she opted to pick some that were esoteric: shared artistic outlet; shared interest in a specific signature architect; shared passion for animals; shared history of wanderlust.

There was no selling. No pitching. Just some off-the-cuff commonalities that endeared her to me. I couldn’t help but smile at her charming outreach. By doing her research on me and my firm, she made an impression. I followed suit by delving into research on her—as a person and as a business leader.

My takeaway: never underestimate the value of making one another smile – even in business contexts! I plan use her thoughtful approach as a model for my future exchanges with new contacts.

Tags: Anne Scarlett A/E Marketing, linkedin

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May 31, 2012