QuickBizBreak by david weaver

Take a quick break from your biz to ponder new ideas and strategies that will turbocharge your business.

Commit to Connect

Posted by QuickBizBreak on February 1, 2010

I posted on LinkedIn recently about my commitment to reconnect this year with contacts, friends, and past associates whom I may not have stayed in touch with throughout the year, whether here in Atlanta or across the nation.

My commitment was based on the realization that if I didn’t continue to communicate in a personal manner (primarily by telephone and written notes) with people I know, then those people tended to fade from my everyday consciousness. And if I wasn’t thinking about them and communicating from time to time, I certainly wouldn’t tend to recommend them to my newer, current contacts whom I hadn’t quite had time to neglect.

Neglect is such a strong word. But think about it. How many people do you meet during the course of a year? Think about the organizations you belong to, the events you attend, the networking that you work so hard for, the individual meetings you have with ‘potential referral sources’. And what do you do with all those wonderful people that you meet? Stick their business card in a drawer? Add them to your Cardscan file before sticking the card in a drawer? If you are ambitious, perhaps you add them to your contact management system with a notation about where you met them. Maybe.

If you are a certified Type A success-oriented personality mixed with a good dose of methodical, tracking, ‘follow a system’ type of person (do those exist?), you enter the contact information and tag them for some great electronic campaign of emails, newsletters, blog feeds, Twitter, LinkedIn and Plaxo invites. Congratulations! You just accumulated more baggage, both for you and for them.

I admit to getting caught up in the social media blitz and in fact, am about to walk further towards the deep end. However, the more I see and can’t absorb, the more I’m blitzed and try to block, the more I zig while others zag, I find that I still do business with people. A friendly voice on the phone, not a name amidst millions on a computer screen. A personal note, not an unsolicited catalog or special offer. I do business with people who recognize that I am special, not just one of many they are trying to reach out and touch in some electronic, hazy manner.

So while I continue to test other waters, I’m trying to remember that there is nothing like a personal phone call. There is nothing like a personal note. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, like a personal relationship with someone you trust and can count on to take care of business, to take care of a friend, to take care of a past associate, to take care of a new contact or client. Those are the people I will refer.

The even clearer revelation for me was that if I’m not thinking about them, then they sure as heck aren’t thinking about me. And that’s not their fault…it’s mine.

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2 Responses to “Commit to Connect”

  1. lennyscumming26 said

    Nice reminder to personally connect while we are in the middle of the social media (SM) blitz. One big bonus of SM connections is that when you finally connect in person the existing electronic relationship seems to expedite and enhance the in person relationship and trust is easier to build.

    • Excellent point, Bruce! Building a following electronically can only happen when we build trust. That trust can multiply when we then interact in person (as long as the purpose isn’t to immediately use that trust to sell something).

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