Social Media guru Chris Brogan has a weekly magazine that dishes out great advice on a range of things. This week he talks about paying it forward, building networks that focus on cultivating relationships.
He says, “the word “cultivate” means to develop. That means that YOU have to work to make the relationship better. It doesn’t mean “meet people so you can ask them to help you do something.”
I have written before about the value of networks, face to face interaction. There is no instant gratification here and those who glad-hand their way through a networking event and follow up with a hard sales push will lose more business than they will gain.
The first barrier to break down is trust. If you are doing most of the talking in a networking environment, the chance of building any sort relationship is remote. Listen. Ask questions. Focus on who you are listening to and not the next mark. Trust takes time to build but the wait is worth it.
Here are some tips from Brogan. And check out Owner Magazine.
1.) Be open to connecting with anyone. You never know.
2.) When introducing others, ask first privately if you can make the introduction (lots of times, people introduce me to others that I can’t much help, for instance).
3.) Upon meeting someone new, think of ways you can help them. I promise this is MUCH more useful than thinking of ways they can help you.
4.) Set calendar reminders or ANY other method to keep in touch with people on a semi regular basis. Cold networks don’t help.
5.) Connect great people in your network together. It’s always greater than the sum of the separate parts.
You can subscribe to Owner Magazine here