I received the following email today: “My LinkedIn account has grown tremendously with many high quality contacts. My challenge seems to be to convert all the people I know in the real and virtual world to sticky relationships of reciprocity. Folks always enjoy the referrals I give, but seem slow to comprehend the implied reciprocation or giver’s gain. I’d like to improve upon this aspect of developing relationships before doing so in an electronic media. Any suggestions?”
This brings up a key point many people struggle with . . . how to build relationship(s) with newly acquired contact(s). This is an important area that I have focused on for the past four years, and I’m pleased to say I have made a lot of progress.
I used to try to identify who were the right people for me to invest time and energy on to build my relationships. I found this strategy to be very difficult–given the large number of people I meet on a regular basis. I also wanted to identify influential people, so I could focus on them. The problem is – I soon found out many of the “self-proclaimed” influential people were quite self-centered and weren’t particularly interested in developing a mutually beneficial relationship. I also discovered there were people who I hadn’t initially considered to be influential–who turned out to be quite the opposite.
So I flipped the paradigm. Instead of trying to identify the right people, I now let them do this step for themselves.
For example, I did a presentation yesterday where I met over 25 people. As a result six people contacted me within 48 hours. I will be focusing on building relationships with these six individuals. They have already indicated through their actions a desire to move forward and develop a connection with me.
That’s a great starting point!