We spoke to Jessica Levin, President and Chief Connector at Seven Degrees Communications.
– Please tell us about Perfect Pairings – What is it all about?
Perfect Pairings is a guide book. It’s a reminder. It’s a starting point. It’s a book designed to help people help themselves by helping each other. It’s stories of master connectors who spend their lives introducing people and enjoying positive and successful lives as a result. It goes through the process of explaining networking vs. connecting and provides actionable steps on how to grow your network so that you can make connections. The book is designed for people who are just starting out in life or those who want to look at growth in a different light. It’s a book that people can read and implement tomorrow and being seeing results or at a minimum discover happiness from helping other people know each other.
– When it comes to connecting, many people are focused on the connections they need. A lot of your book is about facilitating connections for others. How do you think this helps us?
There is a little magic to it. Let’s take Liz for example. I meet a new technology company and think that the
team has a lot to offer. I tell them that they must know Liz and the Techsy Talk team. I make an introduction.
Both Liz and the tech company remember that I helped them. It could be a year later or 5 years later, but if
someone needs a speaker, one of them may suggest me. I stress, this is not the reason to do this. You cannot have
expectations when connecting people. You need to find joy in the process of helping others and enough trust in the process that it will come back around. ANd trust me, if I ever need to ask for a favor or a connection, people are happy to help me.
– What is your most successful connection story?
Well I introduced Liz King to a guy and that seems to be working out… 😉 Other than that, it’s a good question. I like the ones where one introduction leads to another one. I was introduced to someone who once worked at an accounting firm, but had moved on to serve as COO at a corporation. He worked at a few jobs before we had a chance to work together. During the time we knew each other I helped him with a number of introductions. Eventually he introduced me to his CEO who hired me to work on a country music festival. I got to meet Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts (to name drop a few). I also ended up with two clients as a result of the event, but seriously, I had free reign and was literally back stage with Kenny Chesney. I’m not sure about the success, but talk about a cool factor.
– What is the biggest mistake people make when trying to network?
People approach people with the attitude, what’s in it for me? How can this person help me? They try to get married without dating (in a business sense). People try to sell without understanding what value they bring to the other person. When you flip it around and look at it differently, you change the dynamic. You get their attention. If you do this right, the business will come to you. It works, you need to listen and be patient. Also, people think they have to build their base quickly. Focus on knowing quality people; build slowly over time with intent.
– What is your favorite app?
My most used app is Facebook. I really love Duolingo. I am learning to speak Italian and this app is really helping
me with that.