Some business owners are so focused on learning the technical skills required to run their businesses that they forget the most powerful tool they have, which is knowing how to make meaningful connections.
You might be stuck right now in a mindset that says, “Oh, Dennis has a lot of connections, and thus he can do these different things.”
However, I will tell you that getting to the level of where I am now is not so hard. It’s not even technical but more tactical.
And you don’t have to pay $20,000 for the secret.
It boils down to some very simple things that will cause you to think about how you weave together–relationships and your work and how you spend your time.
1. Stop bombarding top people in your industry
If you’ve been with me for a while,you’ve probably heard of things like the Topic Wheel or the 3×3 Grid. Some even simply call it the funnel–your business’s why, how, and what.
The three stages of the funnel are Top, middle, and the bottom then goes into the 3×3, which is three videos for each of those stages of the funnel. So now we’ve got nine videos all matched with our topic wheel.
These three stages of the funnel are wrapped around each other in an onion-like structure: In the center, you’ve got the things that you’re selling (the what), in that middle layer, you have the knowledge that you’re sharing (the how) and in the outside layer, you have these relationships with people who have the knowledge,authority and the audience to support their credibility (the why).
So a lot of people know that, and they do that part. They choose their lighthouse or their focus and they see who the top people are. And then they start reaching out to them.
They start bombarding them with messages. A lot of people do that. Right?
The question is how do you stand out when your trying to attract your lighthouse client? The way you do that is by making your connection to them more meaningful: honor their principles, show up to their events, share their content, and have a lot of mutual friends.
2. Get introductions from other people
That last part is important, mutual friends.
Find another angle through other people that build respect and trust for you. Someone who will vouch for you.
Start looking through your LinkedIn and your network to see who is it that can make an introduction so it’s not awkward. Not because you are trying to use that person for their connections, but because they’ve known you long enough.
Analyze your network. Look at people that have been with you for at least five years and see the commonality. You’re going to see a common trend among the people that are with you.
3. Build up your long-term meaningful connections
Building up these meaningful connections will give you that multiplying power.
The funny thing is a lot of the meaningful connections I’ve made over the years never came from an intentional place where I wanted to be able to do business with someone who is big in real estate, for example, so I can sell to all the real estate agents they know.
Typically, We just share in common some mutual connections, a second-degree connection, which is called a warm connection on LinkedIn.
These warm connections are what power the whole social system at LinkedIn because they see that it’s kind of natural that people attract other people who want to do the same kind of thing.
It’s not one of those manifesting secrets: Like, If you just believe it, it will happen for you.
4. Let your network do the work for you.
The average person has 400 connections. Whether it’s on Facebook or LinkedIn. I don’t even necessarily mean social network connections, but for-real connections.
You can recognize their faces. Take those connections. And each of those connections has 400 connections. So you have:
So that’s 16,000 people.
If you’re an average person to those 16,000, it is called a weak connection, the connection is based on a friend of a friend. However, don’t take that connection for granted as sometimes a weak connection is more powerful than your direct connection.
5. Build stronger bonds.
Look at relationships transactionally versus relationally.
When you meet someone, it isn’t about, oh, what can we do with each other today? Right?Or what do we do with each other next year?
It’s not. It’s a connection. It’s a friendship. We don’t know if we can do anything together, but over the years, opportunities develop.
And it’s also not always going for the relationship that you think is going to be your one-hundred percent payoff.
Start by looking from the other person’s perspective– what can you do to help them? Because when you come from the perspective of trying to help them in some way, it’s going to help build a stronger bond.
And the more you can give in certain ways, the more likely they’re going to come back, and they’re not going to look to your competitor for help. They’re going to come to you, which protects your margins.
Want to know more about how to supercharge your online presence and grow your network exponentially by your Personal Brand?
About the Author
You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.
You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.