The 17.5 Strategies, Guidelines, and Rules of Connecting

The 17.5 Strategies, Guidelines, and Rules of Connecting

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

The 17.5 Strategies, Guidelines, and Rules of Connecting
an excerpt from Jeffrey’s newest bestseller, The Little Black Book of Connections

IMPORTANT NOTE: Like any other process, connecting has rules and strategies. You may know some of them, but odds are you don’t know them all. These strategies and rules are simplistic — but they are not simple. As you read them and begin to understand them, they will help you make connections in a better, more powerful way. Oh, one other thing — you have to implement them.

  1. Be friendly first, and everything else falls into place. Friendly breeds likability and trust. People do business with people they like and people they trust. The twin of friendly is smiley. People who smile are 100 times more attractive than people who don’t. Smiling not only sets the tone for others, it’s the reflection you give them about who you are and how you think. How friendly are you? How easy is it for you to make friends?
  2. Project your self-image in a way that breeds confidence in others. Your handshake is an indicator of your self-image. So is your dress. Everything from your hair to your shoes is an indicator of who you are, and what your style may be, or not be. Projected image creates first impressions. And even though first impressions are not always correct, they are the ones that stick in the mind of the other person until corrected. What is the image that you have of yourself? What kind of image do you think you project? Is that image acceptable to those you seek to connect with?
  3. Your ability to look someone in the eye as you speak to them is a tell-tale sign of your own self-respect. Make eye contact. It’s not only a display of confidence, it’s a display of truth and a display of respect for the other person. Do you find it easy to make eye contact? Do you find it a sign of weakness when others do not make eye contact with you?
  4. Your consistent positive attitude will breed positive responses and positive results. Everyone knows it’s important to have a positive attitude. Very few people understand how important a role it plays in the way you communicate and the way you are perceived by others. Without a positive attitude, your words become cynical and slanted. Without a positive attitude, your demeanor becomes borderline or unacceptable. Positive attitude needs to be there all the time, in the background, as fuel to run your engine of life, without toxic emissions. Do you expect to have a positive attitude if you are not doing something positive in the morning every day?
  5. No connection is made without some form of risk. Dare yourself, accept the dare, and take the risk to make the connection. My philosophy of “no risk, no nothing” is most evident in making connections. You can lower your risk tolerance and risk barrier by being prepared, having the self-confidence, and projecting the image to take a short walk out on a thick limb to make the next connection. Have you ever taken a risk and succeeded? Didn’t it seem like less of a risk after the event was over than before you were willing to take it? Ask yourself why you’re avoiding the risk rather than simply making an excuse about it.
  6. “Ninety percent of success is showing up,” is a quote made famous by Woody Allen. He almost had it right. The principle is: Ninety percent of success is showing up prepared. Preparation is the key to success. Luckily for you, most people are either underprepared or unprepared. There’s no such thing as being overprepared. CAUTION: Preparation requires work. Homework. Before hours and after hours work. If you are looking to connect, preparation is not the best way. Preparation is the only way. When you show up to a networking event, how prepared are you? When you go to some kind of connection meeting, either business or social, how prepared are you?
  7. The less you focus on your motive to meet, the more likely it is that your connection will be successful. Most people trying to connect have some sort of motive or need. That’s OK, depending upon when you make the ask. In my opinion, it should be later than sooner. First seek friendship and acceptance. In other words, drop your agenda and focus on connecting, not extracting. Is your focus short-term gain, or a long-term relationship?
  8. Take a genuine interest in other people before you ask them to take a genuine interest in you. If you’re trying to connect with another person, it seems obvious you’d want to get to know them. Not just qualify them, but to learn from them. The best way to find out about other people is to ask questions. Do you have a list of questions prepared in advance that will bring you an understanding of who you’re meeting with?
  9. The sooner you can find something in common with the other guy, the sooner all the barriers will disappear. The link is not the secret. Finding it is. Find common ground, and you’ll always have something to talk about. Think about the closest friends and the closest connections you have made throughout your life. I’ll guarantee you the foundation is filled with things you have in common. Are you willing to devote the time that it takes to uncover things you may have in common with a prime connection?
  10. The higher up the ladder you go, the more cautious people will be of your advances. Everyone wants to make powerful connections. A bigger question is: Do the powerful people want to make a connection with you? That depends on value, engagement, and the interest that you generate. In general, people with wealth are in no hurry to make big decisions. Don’t you be either. Build confidence and build trust by going slower than you think you should. Are you trying for higher-level connections? Are they responding in a favorable way?
  11. Your projected image will often determine your ability to make a real connection. It’s not “class,” it’s “first class.” And image leads to reputation. How are people referring to you behind your back?
  12. People judge you by every action that you take. They keep mental bookmarks about the promises you make and how you fulfilled them. You MUST always give a first class performance. You can’t just look first class, you gotta take first class action and do everything in a first class way. Do you always do what you say you will do? Do people refer to you as first class?

To learn the other 5.5 strategies, guidelines, and rules of connecting, purchase Jeffrey’s Little Black Book of Connections TODAY!

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Little Black Book of Connections, and The Little Red Book of Selling. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service at He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to

c 2006 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/333-1112