A while ago there was a meme, something along the lines of “advice for my younger self”. Recently that’s morphed into “advice for my pre-lockdown self”.
I’ve asked consultants about this and alongside the personal advice about flour and Netflix I’ve heard insights about the need for deeper client relationships.
One of these insights comes from the realisation that some executives have been getting hundreds of ‘let’s catch-up’ emails a week during lockdown. And, that having an email address isn’t the same as having a relationship.
A deeper pre-lockdown relationship would have required building a level of rapport and permission that goes beyond the transactional. It would have meant the executive 1) gave you their mobile number 2) was comfortable with you calling them and 3) treated you to a timely and positive response.
Reboot your network
These type of deeper relationships tend to emerge when we’ve made ’networker’ a core component of our identity.
Without getting all neurotechnical, identity massively influences behaviour. So, when you begin to change your identity to that of ‘networker’ you’ll find yourself doing things differently … without effort.
Here are some identity shaping beliefs I’ve picked up along the way. You might want to try these on for size.
- Networking is about making friends with strangers. From my friend Stuart Browne. (2017)
- When you know people, and those people know what you do, success knows how to find you. From J. Kelly Hoey. (2017)
- And finally, it’s not always about you! Take time to connect people you know who don’t know each other, yet might be better off if they did. From Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood. (2013)
Try this quick guided visualisation.
See yourself as a networker making friends with strangers … knowing more people … those people knowing that you do what you do better than anyone else … and helping others find mutually beneficial relationships.
Doesn’t that look pretty good? Just remember to ask for their mobile number.