My father taught me from a young age that your network determines you net worth and through out my life I have seen this truth in action. I have been blessed to travel the world and interact with many successful business owners and although the initial interaction is important, it’s what comes after that determines the strength of the relationship. Follow these four steps to turn your business cards into meaningful connections.
Find the neon sign
You know, that huge neon sign that’s on everyone’s chest screaming ‘MAKE ME FEEL IMPORTANT’. When you’re able to make people feel important you will see how quickly you can make a connection. It’s really as simple as being able to pronounce someone’s name correctly or being able to remember that they love the Atlanta Falcons for your next conversation. Small details make a huge difference.
Do the legwork. For example, if you’re going to an event full of journalists, touch up on your current events so that you can add value to the conversation. When you have something valuable to bring to the table people will want you around. It’s like any relationship, there needs to give and take.
Listen louder than you talk
When you’re building relationships it’s important not to monopolize conversations; take a minute, slow it down, and listen. It’s through intently listening that you hear beyond what is being said and really start to understand the person you’re interacting with.
Stay active and engaged with new connections
There is nothing worse than collecting business cards, saying goodbye and then never speaking again. Send a follow-up text, make an appointment in your calendar every month to connect with your contacts, and send out an invite to the next event you’re attending. No matter how you decide to do it follow up and see how they’re doing.
Implementing these four steps will help you take the competitive edge when it comes to building strong and lasting relationships.