Recently I was sorting through my database of more than 1,000 “contacts,” and made a surprising discovery. Sure, I’m communicating with a thousand people, but outside of my family and friends, I am not really connecting or fostering many real relationships at all. I’m what you call “a mile wide and an inch deep” and that’s not how you strike oil in your business! I’ve been mistaking communication for connection.
Are you suffering from this same disease, mistaking the time you spend on Facebook and Twitter as making meaningful connections? Don’t get me wrong—both communication and connection are essential today. But let’s not mistake our activity on Facebook and Twitter as real connection and building relationships in your business.
I think true connection happens face to face, heart to heart, live and in person; sharing an experience together. You’ve undoubtedly experienced the difference between meeting in person versus a conference call, email—or the one-dimensional experience of reading a Facebook update or a tweet.
Recently I heard a wise person say: there are only a dozen or two relationships that will take you to whatever level of success you want.
Not 10,000, 1,000 or even 100. Ask Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson or Oprah Winfrey, and they will tell you that no more than two dozen relationships contributed to their achievements. Ask your agents; “what are the most important relationships that have led to your current success and why?” See yourself as being one of those two dozen key relationships and watch your business transform.
To succeed you can’t just communicate; you have to connect through actively nurturing deep and meaningful relationships.
What’s your process for connecting with referral partners and customers?