Networking With Impact 7/7: How Can You Build Trust?
"Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships." – Stephen R. Covey
Networking with Impact involves: Preparation (1-2-3-4/7), Being Liked (5/7), Getting to Know (6/7) and Building Trust (7/7).
Today’s article is the very last one of the series and is about: Building Trust. I am about to save you a great deal of time – If you are not going to follow up on your networking relationships – you can stop Networking right now and start watching the next addictive season on Netflix. Follow up or don’t bother.
Are you aware of the oldest marketing concept: The rule of 7?
It says that the prospective buyer should hear or see the marketing message at least seven times before they buy it from you. In Networking, you are the product. Hence this rule applies to you! The main learning from rule of seven is the need to repeat what you do. This is why you need to plan to communicate regularly (not overwhelmingly – you are not a stalker!) with your contacts.Be consistent and be patient. A trusting relationship is built over time, not in one networking event.Trust is earned when actions meet words.
To help you with your follow up activities, you will need some sort of CRM System to record the details of meaningful conversations, deliver on the promised action points (phone to arrange meeting, email contact, free eBook, and other events they might be interested in), connect on Social Media to know what your contacts are up to.
Do’s and don’ts of follow up activities
Be timely with your follow up activities. In large conferences when you meet a lot of people over a couple of days, try to set 30 minutes at the end of each day to prepare your messages that you will be able to send after the event is rendered.
Add to your to do list or agenda what you committed to do. If it is not written, it does not exist and will not happen.
For individual Networking events, send a request to connect within 48 hours on LinkedIn with a personalised message: “It was a real pleasure to meet you at the XYZ Event. Let’s keep in touch and carry on our fascinating conversation on the private equity market.”
If someone gives you their business card, after a conversation – same rules apply as the LinkedIn connection. Personalise your message and remind them what was discussed.
If you “grab” a business card last minute – on your way out and email that person without much context. It will be likely to be a waste of time.
If you do not get a response, after two communications – drop it – do not insist.
Having a business card handed to you does not comply to GDPR. Avoid adding their contact details to your automated mail list. Same applies if you buy an attendee’s list. If you do not personalise your communication…say hello to their SPAM folder!
Trust is earned when actions meet words – following up is not just OK – it’s Vital and it’s your job to remind people that you exist.
Networking with Purpose creates opportunities in order to support the goal you want to reach. Structuring your efforts and activities are essential, to select the right type of events and be ready for it, to be liked, to get to know the people you are interacting with and also knowing which follow up activities you can do. Keep in mind that this activity should come from a place of generosity, joy and purpose: it is to help you reach your goal.
There you go! Networking with Impact has no more secret to you!
Cécile Bastien Remy is an international corporate communication & presentation skills trainer, TEDx & Keynote Speaker. You can contact Cécile at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly on her website www.speak4impact.net