I had breakfast with a guy I’ve known for years (we play basketball together).
He happened to read something I posted on LinkedIn, it struck a chord, and he asked about getting together as he sorts through some career changes.
He’s not a client and he’s not a prospect. We don’t even live in the same business environment.
In terms of short term ROI, today’s meeting was a negative $8.95 (plus tip).
In terms of relationship building, today’s meeting strengthened a connection that one day might lead to someone or something that will help my business.
If you can resist the need to quantify (or even evaluate) every interaction, and instead simply focus on building a strong network, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how it all circles back in your favor.
Apparently, there will soon be a direct connection between Ann Arbor and Detroit.
If you said, “Who cares?”, that is precisely my point. I don’t, and you probably don’t either.
But, for some small segment of the population, it’s the most important piece of news they’ll hear all day.
The urge to write something that everybody will care about is strong.
But it’s a misguided approach. There are few topics that qualify.
Instead, figure out who your perfect potential client is and write to them.
The narrower your focus, the smaller your audience … but the more intense the interest.
As long as you’ve got enough of the right people paying attention, you’ve got a viable business.
It’s an Excel spreadsheet that I print and keep on my desk (my old school apologizes to your new school).
Each column is a marketing task (e.g., networking coffee, newsletter publication, outbound email).
Each row represents one of 26 weeks in the first half of the year.
That’s how I track my marketing activity, to make sure I’m always doing things to maintain and grow my business.
Notice that I’m not tracking results here, things like revenue or new clients. I’m only tracking the actions I take.
Why? Because I have complete control over my activity; I don’t over the results.
I’ve learned that as long as I keep filling the spreadsheet, the results take care of themselves.
Anyway, yesterday, I got a LinkedIn invite from a financial planner. I said OK and we connected.
Today I received a four-paragraph message from him inviting me to discuss my financial needs and goals.
In other words, “Hi, would you like to dance? And by the way, would you marry me?”
Connections are not the same as relationships – those take time.
But it’s worth the wait, since those people, over time, come to know you and trust you.
So, how about it? Would you marry me?