“It’s hard to say ‘No’ to a friend,” influence consultant Brian Ahearn reminds us in his book InfluencePeople. He alternatively shares “that people prefer to say ‘Yes’ to those they know and like.” With this insight, you should devote much energy to getting people to like you.
While this might not be a revelation, what Ahearn shares next will be: “Too often people are concerned with doing whatever it takes to get people to like them, failing to realize if they genuinely liked the person first, that individual will sense it and naturally reciprocate.”
So, to get people to like you, devote your energy to finding ways to like them. For example, look for what you have in common. Or give them genuine compliments. And even find ways to work together with them cooperatively.
If you want to establish quick rapport with those you’ve met, make it a habit to like them first. You’ll be liked in return.
Peter Drucker, famed author, educator, and management consultant, whose writings contributed to practical foundations of the modern business corporation, once remarked, “A business either grows, or it shrinks. It doesn’t stand still.”
Drucker’s mantra is insightful. Given the options, the choice is obvious. If you’re in business, you need to commit to ongoing growth. After all, why would you submit to having your endeavors dwindle away.
While Drucker’s quote clearly applies to business, it applies to networking as well. Think about it. A relationship either grows and improves, or it’s prone to atrophy. There is no middle ground where things just stand still.
So, with everyone you know, that’s the choice. Build and reinforce your connection. Or sit by and let it slip away. Given that option, what do you want to do? With the people who are important to you, commit to the relationship. Invest time. Put forth energy. Continue to build on it.
You need to view your network as more than just people with whom you interact. You need to view it for what it is – an asset. Just like a share of company stock or a piece of land.
After all, just as these various assets contribute to your total net worth, every contact you have and every relationship you build also contributes to aspects of your wealth. You see, contacts and relationships build your social capital.
Though not necessarily in dollars and cents, this asset serves as an approximate valuation as to how those you interact with enhance your life, both personally and professionally. It is your ability to use your network to get information, new clients or another job.
So how much social capital do you have? Do you ever think about it?
After all, you account for the money you have in the bank, right? Why not put some consideration into the one thing that helped you get it there?
As professional speaker Matt Ward shares in his book More: Word of Mouth Referrals, Lifelong Customers and Raving Fans, “Celebrating birthdays is as simple as a few clicks.” But he also reminds us that everyone knows (as you do) that the 200 people who recognize them on their special day, did so using the path of least resistance.
Ward offers this idea instead. When celebrating birthdays, he challenges us to do so in a throwback sort of way. Rather than the path of least resistance, send an actual birthday card.
Yes, it takes a little more effort to pick out a card and label an envelope. And yes, there is a little bit of an expense purchasing a card and stamp. And no, sending a birthday card is not an innovative idea. That has been done for years.
But what Ward advocates is more of a revival that will keep you top of mind with everyone you really want to matter.
Forgotten in history are the names and stories of incredibly talented people who never applied themselves. In fact, nowhere in the annals of time is the tale of someone who rode talent alone to fame and fortune.
Sure, there have been talented people. William Shakespeare. Isaac Newton. Ben Franklin. Steve Jobs. And the list goes on and on. While each is known for a wonderful talent, ability, idea or insight, seldom mentioned in their run-up to distinction is the time and toil they invested in their so-called craft.
But if you really examined the lives of this lot of achievers, you’d find that coupled with their amazing talents was a commitment to applying themselves. Daily long hours. Week after week. Year after year. Grinding. Thinking. Practicing. Exploring ideas and concepts. Working through notions.
Remember this: Hard work is far more important than talent, especially when the talented don’t work hard.
Far too often, people figuratively chain themselves to their computer and clank away in LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter hoping to create business for themselves. While they may stumble onto some, it seldom reaches the level they hope for.
Know this: social media is not a sales machine. It is not an order-taking system. It is not an ATM. It is merely a tool that you can use to better network yourself. And by no means is it a replacement for networking.
Think about it. We networked before we had telephones. This invention just allowed us to connect faster and further. But the telephone itself was just a tool.
The same is true of social media. It is just a tool. It is not networking. It is just a tool to make it easier to get to know people, determine if we like them, and then ultimately trust them. Don’t hope social media is your network. Rather use it to build your network.
It’s an uncomfortable reality. One day, we all die. Unfortunately, over the years, we’ve had members of AmSpirit Business Connections who’ve passed while still active members. Some met with tragic accidents. Others succumb to ailments. But they were all contributing members until the very end. And so, this eternal Chapter is a tribute to them.
Mark Rankin (North Scottsdale BC Chapter) August 2021
Don Ebner (Summit Business Network Chapter) May 2021
Christine Schlonski, an internationally renowned consultant and host of the Heart Sells podcast, has a firm belief: “If hurt people, hurt people … happy people create happy people.”
It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that Schlonski’s theory is valid. When you’re happy, you cannot help but have that happiness spill over into the lives of others. Your family. Your friends. Co-workers. Colleagues. And clients. When you’re happy, others get swept up in that elation.
And because you’re sharing your happiness, you’ve brought something wonderful into the lives of others. After all, life is seldom easy. In fact, many days it’s downright difficult. That’s what makes the joy you contribute so special. As a result, others are drawn to you, hopeful that you will bring some sunshine into their world.
Knowing this, make being happy a priority. Look for the good in others. Look for the positive in life. Find any and every reason to smile. Remember, Schlonski’s words: happy people create happy people
No doubt, you are ambitious. And you absolutely want to be more successful. Right?
But you’re savvy too. You know that the road to greater success is not merely a brute force effort of working longer and harder. No, you know it’s about working smarter.
You know you need a sales force. You know, a core of people who are working for you even when you’re not working.
And, in reality, you’ve already got this. Your network. These are friends, colleagues, strategic partners and even former clients sending you prospective clients. These individuals are essentially a referral machine.
After all, referrals are the most effective means of creating long-term, sustainable success. Moreover, it’s the best place to be in business … any business or any profession. At this point, your new clients are almost exclusively generated from people in your network. That’s where you want to be, right?
So, ask yourself, “What am I doing today to create this referral machine?”
Here’s a reality: You cannot control your subconscious mind. Sensations whip in and out. And it processes hundreds and hundreds of bits of information every moment of every day.
Although you lack control over these unconscious feelings, you’re not completely helpless. As Steve Gutzler, consultant and author of Emotional Intelligence for Personal Leadership, shares, “There is a 24/7 battlefield for your mind — your thoughts. Be intentional, control your thoughts and what you put in mind.”
No, you have no control over the internal workings of your mind and what subliminal cues it takes from the world. You do, however, have complete control over what you put into it. You can choose to fill your mind with positive thoughts and aspirations. You can choose to associate with uplifting people. You can choose what you listen to and read. And, you can choose to rationalize away dark thoughts.
There is a never-ending battle within your mind. Do all you can to allow positivity to win.