My guess is that you know a bunch of people.
You’ve met dozens of new people at networking events.
And what do you have to show for it?
Probably not nothing and possibly not what you had hoped for.
Here’s a better idea. Instead of going wide, go deep. Aim for quality over quantity.
“If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business.” Scott Stratten Click to Tweet
Forget about meeting new people at the next networking event and instead take those hours (yes, you know it’s somewhere between 3-5 hours when all is said and done) and invest your time and energy in connecting with people you already know.
Breaking out the broken drum to beat it (again): Relationships are built over time. Interacting and connecting over time, building trust as you go.
Start by reviewing the people in your database. I can hear some of you saying, “What database?”
If you don’t have a database with all of the people you know in it, it’s time to start one. I use ACT which is a paid system and a free option is FullContact. But don’t let that get in the way of building relationships right now.
No matter how you keep track of the people you know, scroll through and identify some people you haven’t had contact with awhile and get in touch and say hello and ask how they are.
Or take action using one of the ideas below to deepen and strengthen your relationships.
Review LinkedIn Connections
Spend some time on LinkedIn see what your connections are up to. There are many ways to interact on with people on LinkedIn.
- Like and/or Share people’s updates
- Give people endorsements on their skills
- Give recommendations
Connect People to Each Other
While you’re looking through the people you know, keep your eyes peeled on two people who could benefit from knowing each other. Then make the introduction and explain why it is you think each person would benefit from connecting with the other.
Go deeper on this topic by checking out my post, Connect People To Each Other and Watch Your Business Grow.
Being helpful is fun and easy. And people appreciate it when you make an effort to help and support them.
How to Be Helpful:
- Share interesting articles
- Recommend a book, a course, or an event
- If you notice something that isn’t right (a broken link, missing image, etc.) share it
For more on how you can be useful to people in your network read my post, The No Pressure Way to Market Your Business.
You can do this publicly on social media and in private as well. Here you’ll find several of my posts about referrals.
Another resource on this approach of building relationships and stimulating referrals is Tim Templeton’s book, The Referral of a Lifetime.
Talk With People
Revolutionary, right? Talking with people is a delightful way to deepen your relationships. You can set up a time to chat on the phone, video Skype, or even more old school – in person.
Another low-tech option, thank people. Radical, I know. But since many people fail to do this, by default if you do say thank you – you will stand out.
Learn more about how these two sweet words can make a difference in my post, Two Words That Can Boost Your Business.
I hope you’re starting to see the benefits of strengthening your existing relationships.
And that while it’s always great to expand your network, it shouldn’t be at the cost of nurturing existing ties.
So if you have limited time and must choose, go for the people you know. Happy connecting.
© Stephanie Ward
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How do you reach out and nuture your relationships? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below. I respond to every single comment.