Make the most from your networking & relationship building efforts in 2016
As the new year approaches, I always have a tendency to self-reflect and ask the following question:
What can I do to create a bigger impact in how I network and build relationships, and at the same time, support the networking & relationship efforts of others?
Listed below are my 14 top suggestions for greater business relationship & networking success ONLINE and FACE TO FACE in 2016.
1. Invest more TIME with people
Do face to face meetings on Skype, Zoom, etc., with the people you are meeting. The biggest investment you will make in building relationships and building your business is TIME. Simply stated, the more you know and understand others, the more likely that your relationships will flourish.
2. Become PURPOSE driven
If relationships are going to be at the forefront of your networking activities, then you first have to strengthen your relationship with yourself. Self-reflecting on your reason for being, and your purpose and vision is an important part of that process. If you don’t take the time to step back and work on yourself, who will?
3. Create unparalleled VISIBILITY
The bottom line for more business in 2016 is simply becoming more visible. That means getting targeted with face to face and on-line social networks.
While Facebook is a cool place to hang out, consider strengthening your profile and connection base on such sites as LinkedIn & Twitter to make more of a professional impact worldwide. Also, take a closer look at the micro sites that are more local to the area where you are marketing your services and creating impact.
4. Go after the relationship, not just the sale
Develop RELATIONSHIP strategies! Everyone talks about relationships. Now you can do something about it.
A relationship strategy is anything that you can do that adds value to others. Strategies put you in command and control of your relationship mindset. Don’t just talk about it. Do something about it.
For a list of the top 15 relationships strategies to begin working with, check out my FREE downloadable Relationship Strategies Blueprint. As always, if you need help in implementing these strategies, get in touch with me.
5. Relentlessly follow up
Think about some of the recent networking events you attended and ask yourself the following questions:
- From the 10-15 people I met, how many actually followed up with you by sending a message, e-mail, or phone call and said – “What a pleasure it was meeting you at the recent any-town Chamber of Commerce event”?
- Then ask yourself the same question… How many people did I actually follow up with after the event with a message, e-mail, or phone call?
See what I mean? Most people are not following up with their connections the way they should be.
If you need a simple follow-up system that works every time, you can download another one of my FREE resources called Benefiting From the Magic of Six.
6. Be in a HURRY
The biggest driving force in our country and in fact the world continues to be speed. People want what they want. And they want it NOW!
Take the moment and dance with it. Don’t wait to get better connected. And don’t wait to provide the support that’s needed now by the many people your meeting.
7. Embrace the power of LinkedIn
With my recent #1 Amazon best selling book, 21 Days to Success with LinkedIn, I’m just amazed at how many I meet who have a lack of understanding on how to maximize the potential of the largest professional database in the world.
They have no connection strategy, they don’t have a completed profile, and in many cases, have no sense of purpose on WHY they are even on LinkedIn.
So what’s my message? – Find a LinkedIn coach and get going.
8. Increase your FREQUENCY of interaction
Increased interaction brings increased cooperation with others. Too many times, people fail to follow up with one another after their meeting. If you can get up to six interactions with anyone, it’s likely you’ll have a good beginning for a relationship that will never end. See suggestion #5 for more comments to support this idea.
9. Share your REFERRAL CLUB experience
There are many people in business today that are not happy with the amount of business they are doing, the amount of profits they are earning, and the amount of sales they are making.
That’s the very reason why business referral groups like Gold Star, BNI, and LeTips are achieving such success.
When you find a group of dedicated business professionals that meet weekly in a structured agenda, with the sole purpose of building relationships, and passing referral to one another, it’s a sure win.
10. CONNECT THE DOTS as often as you can
Connecting the dots is all about making most from the Small World Phenomena. When was the last time you heard that infamous expression – “It’s such a Small World Isn’t It?”
Keep in mind that the power in your networking efforts is always in the connection.
Did you know that the connection between you and the people you’re meeting is never just between you and the people you’re meeting? It’s between you, them, and something else that you have in common.
If you want to learn more about this process, check out my article on “It’s such a Small World Isn’t It?”
11. Develop PERSONALITY insights
If the biggest investment we make in building relationships is TIME in getting to know others, then we have to gain greater insights into ourselves and how we can ADAPT to others.
If I understand you – and you understand me, doesn’t it make sense that we get along better?
The DISC model of Human Behavior is a proven model to do just that. Learn more about my DISC training and assessments to see how it can help you in your networking and relationship building efforts.
12. Become the most INTERESTED person in the world
Very often I see people attempting to get others interested in them.
Let’s face it… Networking is awkward, hit and miss, situational, lacks support and most often it’s all about the other person. As opposed to wanting people to be interested in you, simply become the most interested person in the world. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it becomes to get people interested in you.
13. Don’t manage people, manage the system
Systems build business and are more predictable and reliable.
In a networking environment, it’s very difficult to get people to do what you want them to do, and if you could, it would have to be with their own willingness to get it done.
My suggestion is that you stick to a predictable system that works every time.
For a metaphor on how you can build relationships with the use of a system, check out my Toaster story video.
14. LISTEN three times as much
When you speak, you learn what you know. When you listen, you learn what others know. The power has always been in the listening.
Here’s a good question you should ask yourself – When was the last time anyone said, “Thanks for taking the time to listen?” If it’s been while, go back to work and become a great listener.
In fact, great listeners, have great connections.
So when all is said and done, challenge your thinking and underlying beliefs, be more strategic, go after the relationship, connect the dots, make the connection, and always take the moment and dance with it.