Building Intimacy With Your Network

Network buildingIf you want to create a really dynamite network, you have to really follow through when you say, “I’d like to get to know you.” From my previous post (Make Yourself Unforgettable) I’ve shared the idea stating that each person we meet up with  or get introduce to represent a doorway to opportunity. However, enjoying the benefits of being connected to someone has some requirements. You need to be intimate. The more intimate the better the chances to receive what you ask. I remember from my Southwestern experience, the one thing managers could never stop saying at the beginning of a sales campaign was to make a friend first and a customer second. Also, for being in sales and in the training industry, the one pillar we always teach to sales people, managers, and leaders is that people do business with people they like. With that said, I bet you can tell why building intimacy with your network is so important. So what are one of the best ways to do it? Folks this Max, Your Relations Strategist, because more than never…RELATIONSHIP MATTERS.
Before I get to the “How” to build intimacy with your network, let me drop some lines again stating the importance of doing it. Intimacy makes you count as a family member, a privileged one. It helps you pass through the doors that are yet closed to the public. It helps you be on top of the information even before they get released. And more important, intimacy helps you get things done easier and faster.
There are two major warnings when you try to build intimacy whether with a client, a business partner, a decision-maker… The first warning is not to be own-interest-oriented, and the second warning is regressing once the intimate relationship is on the setup mode.
  • First Warning: the own-interest-orientation –  This issue is pretty much about breaking up the win-to-win philosophy and just looking at what you want to get out of your contact with no care of what you can bring. With hat kind of attitude, you will never never and never build any intimacy with a network. Relationship is all about giving, it’s about generosity. Yet as humans, we know we need help from time to time and that our network is a valuable asset we can have to find answer to our questions. However, if people sense that you are out there just to look for what you can get for yourself and have nothing to give in return , they will turn you down. Also, Creating a lifelong community of colleagues, contacts, and friends means committing yourself to a relationship to the entire individual, not just the business you’ll transact together.
  • Second warning : the regress – Once you’ve built that intimacy with your network, don’t regress. You need to always nurture the newer, deeper relationship. Failing at nurturing your newly established intimacy is like hiring someone, investing your time to train him and by the time you should have your return on investment you let him go. So many people succeed at establishing a good first contact but then they don’t follow up with the person or they neglect the hot button that helped to create the intimacy and reset their mind on a business-only-mode. As result the two people go cold.

How To Build Intimacy?

  • Understand it’s always the green light – Don’t be like most people, you wait to share anything truly personal about yourself until you’re absolutely positively convinced that you’re not going to be rejected. In building intimacy with someone, your mindset precedes you. You need to assume and be convinced that you can and deserve to be intimate with that person until the person turn to down. However, do not take it for granted. Building intimacy is nothing but a work in constant process.
  • What do you have to offer? – Like I said before, from my previous experiences I’ve learned that people do business with people they like. With that said as you work on becoming intimate to someone, you need to think about what you bring on the table that will make the person like you. That might be anything from your life style to your values, or enthusiasm. You need to possess one thing that the person will take in consideration in opening you his heart.
  • Watch out for details – Details are what makes the difference. Don’t take me to a theater if I rather go dancing, don’t talk about politics if I rather talk about religion. As people talk, they reveal key info about themselves that describe their personality and give you tools to use when you build the intimacy. Make sure you use the right tool and the best way to know about the right tool to be used is through listening carefully as they talk.

You want to be an ace at professional networking to boost you career, then remember that increasing true intimacy helps move you quickly to a deeper, more productive relationship.

I am eager to read the successes you achieved after building an intimacy with your network. What have you learned from it?

Folks, this was Max and remember…RELATIONSHIP MATTERS.

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  1. #1 by Yacine on May 24, 2010 - 9:33 am

    Give to get 🙂
    Nice paper bro!

  2. #2 by Ness on May 24, 2010 - 11:34 am

    What about if you don’t have the skills to build an intimate relationships. How does one improves their communications skills?

  3. #3 by Lara Loucks, CPLP on May 26, 2010 - 3:05 pm

    Just came across your blog. Have you heard of Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages? You would like it if you haven’t read it already. Check my blog for how I have adapted Chapman’s writings to the workplace.

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