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From Business Cards to Business Relationships: Personal Branding and Profitable Networking Made Easy, 2nd Edition by Allison Graham

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Chapter 43

Creating Mini-Bonds

The second step in the Mingling Formula is essential to change casual contacts into business relationships. Learning how to create mini-bonds will make you a master at building genuine business relationships. Some networking trainers call this step “establishing rapport.” To me, this sounds like an over-used phrase that conjures images of phony conversation and forced common interests.

Without a mini-bond, there is no reason to move to the third step, which is exchanging contact information. Rushing through the mini-bond step leads to mere business-card collecting and ineffective networking attempts.

A mini-bond means there was enough of a connection that you'll remember each other after the event and that the memory will be positive. A lot of what determines this level of connection is subconscious and relies on nonverbal cues. It's the few seconds where the person judges you to determine if you are of interest and vice versa. This is why spending time working on your personal brand in the Second Pillar is so important. It will help you maximize the impression you make. Granted, looking well-polished isn't enough to drive profitable networking, but it's the foundation upon which everything else rests.

The key to creating a mini-bond is actually caring about the other person. You can't fake this. It's tough to hide a genuine dislike for people and displaying a negative, uninterested attitude won't help people like you, trust you, or believe you are ...

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