Whether you are 19, 90 or somewhere in between, you now know more people than you could possibly meet over the next year (maybe two or three). Think about it. You know people in your community. You know people from high school, college, and your plethora of career moves (or those moving careers around you). You know people through your kids, parents, or family. You know lots of people.
While meeting new people is always an important part of networking, there is a tremendous advantage to networking with familiar names and faces – they already Know, Like and Trust you. That is a tremendous head start to productive and effective networking.
Given that, an important part of building your business or career network, is to dig into your “now electronic” rolodexes, card files or little black books and mind your existing contacts. Reconnect with these old friends and acquaintances. Get caught up on their lives. Think of ways you can help them. Share with them about your professional endeavors. Remember to ask for assistance.
Remember the “Know, Like, and Trust” is already there. All you need to do is capitalize on it.
Getting people to “Know, Like, and Trust” you is dependent upon human interaction. Remember, however, your network (or any network, for that matter) is built one relationship at a time.
There is an Indian proverb that says, “An eagle that chases two rabbits, catches none.” This is true of relationships as well. You will not be able to develop lasting Know, Like, and Trust if you are focused on multiple relationships at any one time. In fact, the more relationships you attempt to develop at once, the less effective you become.
The point to this topic is this: As you are out being involved, do not feel the need to race about, meeting as many people as possible … having quick, shallow conversations … collecting business cards and then haphazardly following up with a plethora of people you can hardly remember.
Rather work to have involved conversations with just a few people (and then attend another gathering and do the same). Learn about people. Invest time in who they are. Be genuinely interested. Conduct yourself so that when you follow up, you can do so with substance.
By working to develop relationships one person at a time, you become more effective developing relationships, in short people will Know, Like, and Trust you.
An often overlooked means of getting people to “Know, Like, and Trust” you is Getting Involved.
To be successful in any business or profession, you cannot just hole-up in front of your computer and work the phone. You need to shower up, brush your teeth, and get out amongst people. Find groups and organizations to join.
Know this, however, you cannot just belong. You cannot just be in the community. You cannot just be in the Chamber. You cannot just be part of the Church. You cannot just belong.
To effectively network … to develop strong relationships … to build Know, Like, and Trust, you have to get involved. Roll up your sleeves (actually or figuratively) and lend a hand. Be an officer in a group. Be a committee member of an organization. Be something (anything) more than just a name on a membership roster.
Here is the test as to whether you are sufficiently involved – Answer this: If you didn’t show up, would you be missed?
If the answer is no, you need to work harder to get involved. By doing so, you raise your level of exposure and demonstrate your level of commitment to something more than just you. When you do these things, others will not be able to help but Know, Like, and Trust you.