The people you know, your network of connections, are the foundation of your business.
You could even go so far as to say they are your business.
Think about it, without them you have no clients, no prospects, no partners, and no colleagues.
So if your connections are so important, why don’t you pay more attention to them and stay in touch with them?
Why don’t you keep track of developments in your relationships and put energy in them over time?
I know the reason why, you’re too busy. We are all busy.
But once you realize how critical this is you can make the decision to make it a priority.
Your entire business is based on relationships, building relationships requires time and trust.
When people are heard and cared for, trust is created.
“Building trust is a process. Trust results from consistent and predictable interaction over time.” Barbara M. White
Some people refer to this as Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
You can call whatever you want; it’s simply about nurturing your connections to people in your tribe.
Maybe you have a memory like an elephant, I don’t.
But even if I had an amazing memory I don’t want to use my brain storage for memorizing details that I can easily write down.
You meet so many people, why try to remember all of the details. And unless you’re an exception, you won’t remember.
Maybe you think this will take too much time. Trust me, if you don’t keep track, you will either get it wrong or spend time trying to backtrack and figure it out which will probably cost you more time than it would have taken to capture it in the first place.
Benefits of Paying Attention
I could go on for an eternity about why this is a good idea but you don’t have that kind of time. So here are just a few reasons to jump on board.
You know when it’s time to check in with someone about an offer you made them or when it’s time to reconnect with a colleague.
“Trust is built with consistency.” Lincoln Chafee
You can see where there are connections within your network that could be interesting for you to collaborate with or to collaborate with each other.
You will be able to connect more people to each other because you know more about all of the people in your network.
You will be able to see relevant patterns For example; perhaps someone has referred three people to you over the course of one year. Knowing that you may want to discuss creating a deeper relationship perhaps a Strategic Alliance Partnership.
Bottom line, you will save time and be able to make better business decisions if you pay attention to your tribe.
How to Do It
What does this entail? For me, when I meet someone (in person or online), I create a record for them in my system (more on systems below).
This includes their name, business if they have one, city, country, email address, and phone number.
I add a quick note (in the system I use the notes are chronological) that says how and where I met the person. I add fun or interesting things like the person just had a baby, or moved to town recently. Then, over time keep adding notes about interactions.
And I always invite people who I meet in person to connect on LinkedIn. And then I send a personalized invitation (yes, please always do this; it only takes a few seconds).
At some point, you can start connecting on other platforms as well. If you are connected on LinkedIn, you can follow someone on Twitter.
Or if you are members of the same Facebook Group, you can invite her to connect on LinkedIn.
It is also imperative to interact with your community on social media. Read more about this in my post: What You Must Do If You Want to Build a Thriving Community.
“Earn trust, earn trust, earn trust. Then you can worry about the rest.” Seth Godin
Tools to Make it Happen
The tool you use is much less important than the fact that you take the action.
I purchased ACT because that was what available, and recommended, way back when I started my business in 2002. I have the software on my computer and they do offer a cloud-based version.
Don’t panic if you haven’t been doing this in your business all along. It is never, ever, too late to begin.
Why not start today. Choose a tool and add a note about the next interaction you have. And then keep doing it until it becomes a habit.
And every morning open the program you use to capture your contacts so you’re ready to go when the moment arrives.
After a while, it will become automatic and part of your daily way of doing business. And you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.
Every time you use your system to refresh your memory, you will be so happy that you made the decision to pay attention to the people in your network.
© Stephanie Ward
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How do you pay attention to the people in your community? Share your tips, thoughts, and questions on this below in the comments section. I respond to every single comment.