Business today is filled with many opportunities to connect with each other. There are networking groups, industry associations, chambers, social media, and more. So many channels to make so many connections. But in reality, they pose a huge problem for us. Let me share a few potential problems, and as I do, see if you can relate.
- Having many connections lessens the possibility of you making strong connections as there are too many to manage.
- Having many connections creates too many options (think The Cheesecake Factory menu). We aren’t sure of who to go to, or what to tackle, so we instead do nothing.
- Having many connections creates a false sense of importance in us. How many times have you heard someone share that they have hundreds of connections and/or followers? Have you ever asked them how many they actually do business with?
So what can we do to overcome this problem? Below are some of my best tactics. BUT (a huge but), I want to be clear about something. I am trying to overcome this challenge myself and in no way claim to have it all figured out. That means, if you figure it out, you have to share :).
- Follow up with every single connection. Have 750 LinkedIn connections and feel overwhelmed? Well, you better get started. Begin with a message through LI, then send them an email, and then move to a phone call. If they don’t respond or turn out to be lacking in value for your business, kindly disconnect from them. You don’t need to pad your numbers just for the sake of numbers. You need to pad your numbers with dollar signs, and only good connections will do that for you.
- Don’t accept every connection, or re-follow every person that follows you. Just as you would qualify a lead, you should qualify a connection. Look into whether they may be valuable for you and weigh the benefit of connecting with them further. Not every connection is a good connection.
- Go deeper than the medium by which you were introduced. Connect outside of social media if that’s how your relationship started. Or if you met someone at a networking event, try setting up a coffee to get to know each other better. You never know when that one connection may be the best one you ever pursued.
Those are just a few warnings, as well as a few potential solutions, when it comes to connecting with everyone everywhere. I would be excited to hear how you handle your connections so please feel free to shoot me an email or comment below.