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Make “Who You Know” Work for You

April 21, 2013

Daily ReadMake “Who You Know” Work for You

Every successful business is built on relationships. That old cliché, “It’s not what you know, it’s whom you know”–is perfectly true. Here’s how to become a master relationship builder:

  1. Never miss a chance to widen your circles. Go beyond your department or expertise to meet people in other areas and with other types of jobs, and find out what they do and what’s important to them. Make sure to attend industry events, workshops, and luncheons whenever you can, and introduce yourself to strangers.
  2. Treat every relationship like it matters–because it does.  That means customers and bosses as well as the people who work for you and the people who are trying to sell you something or are asking for your help.  Remember, two things: your employee today may be your boss next year and it’s important to give as well as get.
  3. Build relationships with as many different types of people as you can. Make it a practice early on not to just focus on the people with whom you’re comfortable. Find out about other types of people and how to have relationships with them – this will enable you to deal effectively with many different types of people in them.
  4. Be persistent–but not too persistent. You need to find that delicate balance between being effectively persistent and obnoxiously pushy. You’re not being persistent enough if you get no reply and don’t follow up. Use a variety of avenues to develop a relationship – phone, email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook – you don’t want to overdo it, just get some attention.

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