Founder of Heinz Marketing
Founder of Heinz Marketing – business & marketing development expert, author & nationally recognized, award-winning blogger. Focuses on start-ups & fast-growth businesses seeking to accelerate top-line growth.
Build Business Relationships: What I Wish I Knew 20 Years Ago
Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Matt’s success
Building relationships to create leads
Result if you follow the steps in Matt’s session
More connections for your network by being proactive and seeing everyone you meet as a potential connection
Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more
Expert session snapshot
I’m pretty proactive in connecting with people that I did I have some connection with through whatever means. I’ve got a list, a daily checklist I use every morning, that’s sort of my networking checklist.
One of the things I do is I look at my calendar from yesterday, any phone calls I had, any conversations I had, any meetings I had. I make sure I’m connected with those folks in a number of ways. I make sure that we’re connected on LinkedIn. I make sure that I’m following them on Twitter.
I make sure that I’ve you know, got that, you know, once we’re connected, I know what their birthday is. And I’ve you know, got some alerts set up to sort of tell me when things, interesting things were going on about them and in their business.
You know, I’m doing the same thing with people we get, people coming to our website on a regular basis that are downloading our best practice guides and webinars and other tools. And so I’m connecting with a lot of them as well just to maintain that continuity relationship.
So you know, we’ve been fairly aggressive at you know, using in some cases very thin lines of getting relationships and using LinkedIn to strengthen those over time. But you know, and it’s not authentic if you’re not doing it yourself.
I mean, like you know, all the LinkedIn connections, you know, anything that’s written with my name on it, anything that’s connected through social channel, that’s me doing it. I don’t think, I can’t think of a better other way of doing that.
But you know, if you’re authentic and you build a good value, I think those relationships, even those that start kind of just with the download or start with a chance meeting at a conference can certainly blossom.
All right, so this is obviously working for you. And I’d love to dive a little bit deeper into how this plan and strategy you know, how you implement it. So can you maybe walk us through step by step? How do you double your connections?
Yeah, I mean, let’s take for instance, you know, going to a conference, you know, you meet someone at a conference. You know, your ability to increase your connections relies on your ability to go and sort of initiate connections.
So if you’re at an event in your in town, if you go to a happy hour at night with you know, birds of a feather if you’re going to a conference. You know, I hate to use the term sort of, you know, sort of collecting business cards, but your job is to meet as many people as possible even if they’re not people that you think you could directly do business with.
You never know who they know. You never know what job they’ll have next. You never know as I gave the example earlier than six years from now, what’s going to happen.
I literally met someone four years ago who wanted to bring us in to do a project ended up not getting budget for it. His managing director had other priorities at the time, which is fine. He called up four months ago and says why left for a different job, and I came back and now I’m the managing director. So let’s get going on this thing, right?
So you know, staying in touch with people is important, but you go to one event, you go to a conference, you know, meet the people in line at registration, say hi to the people behind you in line for lunch. You know, meet as many people as you can, actually follow up with them.
If you come back from a conference and you’ve got a stack of business cards that sits on the side of your desk for forever, until you throw them out, that’s not using those names, I’d highly encourage you to, you know, connect with those folks on the plane ride home, you know, don’t go to bed at night before you’ve sent a thank you note and a LinkedIn connection to all those people.
You know, there’s hard work that goes into sort of building those connections and initiating those relationships. But, you know, there’s no shortcuts to this, I think, you know, hopefully people that are looking at the topic here and saying, “Oh, wow, you know, double your LinkedIn connections, like how do I do that”?
Well, you can’t pay someone overseas 50 bucks to get 15,000 new connections. And if you could, it wouldn’t be authentic and it wouldn’t benefit you. So you know, the entire, you know, the ROI you’re going to get out of your connections has everything to do with the value and time and attention you put into them.