Building relationships in today’s digital landscape is very different than it was 10, 20, and 30 years ago.
Twenty years ago, the options to “keep in touch” were pretty simple. You placed a phone call, mailed a letter, or (maybe) sent an email.
Today we have endless options. And that seems to be the problem! We’re so overwhelmed with the technology that’s right at our fingertips that we forget about one-on-one engagement.
Building Relationships in a Digital World
Here are three ways to focus on building relationships in a digital world.
LinkedIn is powerful for building relationships. But of course, that’s only if you use it!
Before you connect
Start your new relationships off on the right foot by writing a custom message to pair with your connection request. Mention where you met and that it was great to meet them. Or, if it’s someone you’re connecting with cold, explain why you’re interested in connecting with them. Trust me, a little note goes a long way!
After you connect
Once you’ve connected, don’t forget that LinkedIn is about networking! Continue building relationships that will last by keeping in touch with your connections.
First, create an outreach process for yourself. Detail how often you’ll reach out to your connections, and what you’ll say when you do. Then, decide how many people you’ll reach out to each day/week. Don’t forget to also schedule time for follow up and to schedule coffee or lunch meetings with your contacts. It’s important to have a healthy balance of online and offline interaction.
Use your Sales PlayBook to store your message templates and outreach process. That way, it’ll be easy to keep the process moving!
Create a Networking Triad
The number three is very powerful in business. When three people meet, as opposed to two, ideas and opinions are often more balanced.
So why not have networking triads? That is, instead of scheduling a one-to-one meeting, make it a triad! Invite two people that you believe will benefit from meeting one another, and network away! Not only are you building relationships with two contacts at once, but your contacts are also able to meet. Afterwards they can decide if they’d like to keep the conversation going.
Un-Automate Some Social Media Actions
Okay so I know that automation is the best thing since sliced bread. BUT, it can also bite you when it comes to building relationships.
You don’t send your parents or your family automated messages (I hope!), so don’t over-automate your business relationships!
Whether we’re talking business pages OR personal pages, the same runs true:
- If someone sends you a message, reply to them!
- If someone leaves you a comment, reply to them!
- And, if someone asks you a question, reply to them!
What’s important here is engaging. If your Twitter feed is all automated messages, make a plan to change this. Human beings want to talk to human beings, not robots. So, tweet something real every now and again. Visit your contact’s Twitter pages and… (drumroll please)… write something! Retweet them and comment on what you liked about their tweet. Engage!
I hope these ideas help as you focus on building relationships. Want more on building relationships? Download a free copy of our eBook: Making Client Relationships Work.