In a world of branding, e-commerce, and multi-national corporations, business still comes down to people doing business with people. Trust is essential; so are results. When connections work properly reputations are expanded, wealth is created, fortunes are built. But, results are not a byproduct of random events. Success is intentional. To get things done, someone must do something that benefits themselves and someone else. Consequently, you must know someone who can get things done. How do those connections happen? When do they start? Who really delivered? How do you know her?
Before the wheels of commerce can turn someone needs to grease the wheels. The grease comes from bonding two personalities. It does not have to be business related. It does require participating in life. Doing a favor for a neighbor creates value. Helping a referral contact who decides to reciprocate does it, too. Life happens when involving someone else and the joint experience fosters relationships. The more a professional participates in life, the more opportunities evolve to create value, or simply help another person. Simply offering to ride share with your fourth grader’s soccer teammate’s parents could land you the next big client. Participating in youth soccer is not cheap and the parents probably work somewhere. Sharing an Uber after an conference with a fellow participant who is running late for their flight. A small gesture just created enormous gratitude. What a great time to listen to their successes and challenges! Don’t talk, listen. Let them tell you about their needs beyond getting to the airport. You win because you were available to share a life experience, and earned permission to serve.
But, big deals involve big organizations. However, big organizations are led by individuals who have individual needs. Even from a corporate perspective, organizations have personalities and reputations that they want to evolve, grow and protect. Another word for organizational personality is brand. A company’s brand evokes experiences and expectations. Organizationally partnering is an outstanding way to create experiences, then relationships that leads to business results. For example, a professional has a desire to feed the homeless. She connects with a community group that wants to show compassion to the least of us. The professional becomes the linchpin between resources and fulfilling a need. The experience is memorable. That connection has value. A good brand features individuals who network, enhancing chances to fulfill assorted needs. The brand builds its reputation by having others spread the news about how the brand delivers on its promises. Opportunities turn into stories demonstrating value between individuals, which result in more opportunities.
Connections strengthen from thinking about the other person. Successful networkers stay top of mind throughout their circles. They seize opportunities. Grab coffee, or connect at happy hour. They keep secrets. Schedule a late afternoon meeting at the cigar bar, or the spa. Guilty pleasures are great connectors. But, value is only created when these actions are intentional. Business is built on relationships, and then results. So are brands. Build your brand in the image that you want the public to see. Tell stories about successes that deliver on that image. Be the professional that others want to know because you deliver. Remember, it is not what you. It is not who you know. It is who knows you and are willing to tell others about it! That’s why I know her name.
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal, Hunter And Beyond