Developing LinkedIn relationships Developing LinkedIn relationships

Developing LinkedIn relationships
08 Jan 2018

By Steve Phillip, managing director,
Linked2Success Ltd

Last week, I met with a client to review how he was getting along following the LinkedIn training he had received from me. He told me about the difficulty he was having, developing LinkedIn relationships beyond the initial agreement to connect.

Before I tell you what I said, it’s likely that sometime this week, you’ll invite somebody to connect with you on LinkedIn or you’ll accept an invitation from someone who invites you. If either of you are motivated to do so, you’ll perhaps agree to take the initial agreement to connect further. One thing for sure is that one of you will have a vested interest in having made that connection. But unless you realise something very important early on, you’ll be disappointed with the progress you’ll make.

So my reply to my client was: “You must make your contact feel important and valued.” But what does that in mean in practical terms?

Very recently, I got a new bookshelf. This meant I could finally unload a box full of books I had collected and read over the years, including the seminal How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. First published in 1936, I’ve been amazed at how relevant this book still is today - it has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.

Early on in the book, in fact in Chapter two ‘The Big Secret of Dealing With People’, Carnegie provides numerous examples of how many hugely successful people, from presidents to businessmen and women, won over others by applying one simple principle - recognise the other person’s desire to feel important.

To use Carnegie’s own words: “There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything… And that is by making the other person want to do it”. He also goes on to suggest that holding a gun to someone’s head will achieve the desired outcome too, but for the purposes of this article, let’s assume you’re going to use the carrot, rather than the stick approach!

“By learning what is important to others and reflecting these things back to them, you will, over time, become their ‘best friend”

How to make your new LinkedIn connections feel they are number one

You don’t need to be a wizard to search Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other online platforms such as blogs to discover a minefield of information about virtually anyone who is anywhere in business these days. Everything from someone’s job role to the restaurants they like to eat at, to their beliefs and values is all out there on the web for you to use as a way to make that person feel important.

By learning what is important to others and reflecting these things back to them, you will, over time, become their ‘best friend’, a trusted source and someone they would like to be doing business with.

I appreciate that building like and trust with people takes time - it requires effort and this is why I recommend that you only take this approach with two per cent of those you connect with. So, your goal this month is to identify who those two per cent are. You’ll need to take tough and decisive action. Who are the two per cent of people that if you did business with, would transform your sales or at the very least, make a significant difference to your income, career or business growth?

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t connect with anyone else on LinkedIn, follow him or her on Twitter or befriend him or her on Facebook. But when it comes down to it your time is limited, ensure that you take time to nurture specific relationships and build knowledge, like and trust with those who can make a real difference to your business and your life.

By Steve Phillip, managing director,
Linked2Success Ltd

Last week, I met with a client to review how he was getting along following the LinkedIn training he had received from me. He told me about the difficulty he was having, developing LinkedIn relationships beyond the initial agreement to connect.

Before I tell you what I said, it’s likely that sometime this week, you’ll invite somebody to connect with you on LinkedIn or you’ll accept an invitation from someone who invites you. If either of you are motivated to do so, you’ll perhaps agree to take the initial agreement to connect further. One thing for sure is that one of you will have a vested interest in having made that connection. But unless you realise something very important early on, you’ll be disappointed with the progress you’ll make.

So my reply to my client was: “You must make your contact feel important and valued.” But what does that in mean in practical terms?

Very recently, I got a new bookshelf. This meant I could finally unload a box full of books I had collected and read over the years, including the seminal How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. First published in 1936, I’ve been amazed at how relevant this book still is today - it has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.

Early on in the book, in fact in Chapter two ‘The Big Secret of Dealing With People’, Carnegie provides numerous examples of how many hugely successful people, from presidents to businessmen and women, won over others by applying one simple principle - recognise the other person’s desire to feel important.

To use Carnegie’s own words: “There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything… And that is by making the other person want to do it”. He also goes on to suggest that holding a gun to someone’s head will achieve the desired outcome too, but for the purposes of this article, let’s assume you’re going to use the carrot, rather than the stick approach!

“By learning what is important to others and reflecting these things back to them, you will, over time, become their ‘best friend”

How to make your new LinkedIn connections feel they are number one

You don’t need to be a wizard to search Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other online platforms such as blogs to discover a minefield of information about virtually anyone who is anywhere in business these days. Everything from someone’s job role to the restaurants they like to eat at, to their beliefs and values is all out there on the web for you to use as a way to make that person feel important.

By learning what is important to others and reflecting these things back to them, you will, over time, become their ‘best friend’, a trusted source and someone they would like to be doing business with.

I appreciate that building like and trust with people takes time - it requires effort and this is why I recommend that you only take this approach with two per cent of those you connect with. So, your goal this month is to identify who those two per cent are. You’ll need to take tough and decisive action. Who are the two per cent of people that if you did business with, would transform your sales or at the very least, make a significant difference to your income, career or business growth?

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t connect with anyone else on LinkedIn, follow him or her on Twitter or befriend him or her on Facebook. But when it comes down to it your time is limited, ensure that you take time to nurture specific relationships and build knowledge, like and trust with those who can make a real difference to your business and your life.

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