Optimism is a Bay City Connections value that we emphasize in our culture and embody in our operations. One specific place that this principle plays a role is in the attitude we take toward networking.

There are innumerable articles about the specifics of networking, but for our more emotive associates it sometimes helps to think about contacting in terms of feelings. For example, instead of always focusing on physical aspects of interacting, such as the perfect handshake, we ask our trainees “How do you want to feel the second time you talk to a new contact?”

The answer we want them to have is “optimistic,” and by knowing this in advance it informs the way we approach networking. If we want someone to be positive and cheerful the next time they speak with us, we need to make sure our first conversation sets us up appropriately.

This flies in the face of traditional networking approaches. Many professionals have a “now or never” mind-set, and if they meet someone that doesn’t fill an immediate need they run to the next contact.
What we do instead is focus on two questions: first, will we be proud of our behavior the next time we meet this person? Second, will that person be excited to see us again?

When we can say yes to both questions, we’ve made a solid Bay City Connections contact.