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17 2013

5 Secret Keys to Building Online Relationships

Syndicated from: Networking for Results Blog

Too many professionals think of interacting on online networks as a series of technical and tactical activities. They fail to accept that the same strategies that apply in face-to-face networks are just as productive online. Here are the five proven strategies that, individually, can have a huge impact on accelerating the relationship process. 1.  Clarity. When it comes to online networks and the scope they represent, it’s essential to clarify objectives. Having a clear picture of what specific goals to achieve (network growth, visibility, connections), who to connect with (industries, companies, prospects), and how to measure progress will create outcome-based activity. Strategy: create a one-page summary that encompasses each of these categories. Keep it beside you when visiting your online network. As Jim Rohn says “If your purpose is not clear, you will not pay the price.” 2. Courage. Reaching out to others, whether initiating or responding to an invitation-to-connect, requires dealing with a number of personal demons. The more you know these are your highest-value prospects or contacts (see clarity), the more you will be motivated to reach out. Strategy: start with connections you already have to create a success pattern, then respond to those who invite you, and, finally, reach out to those names that represent opportunity. Remember, the definition of courage is not the absence of fear, but acting in spite of fear. 3.  Communication. This strategy is both the most difficult and the most effective. Your ability to leverage an initial contact and create conversations is the secret formula for online success. It is the test of both your attitude and your character. Strategy:  online networks supply a huge amount of personal information (via profiles). Use this as the basis for starting a conversation. Use sincere curiosity to get the “relationship pendulum” swinging by building context (the most powerful relationship glue). Make your entire focus on being of service and helping the other person appreciate your intent and integrity. 4. Commitment. Networking, whether online or face-to-face, is all about creating and building relationships. Relationships, by their very nature take time, need to be nurtured and require investment. Strategy: accept that you are embracing a process, not participating in an activity. The online environment may require additional trust, more clarification of value and confirmation of the contribution you represent. Strategy: The ultimate objective is to move from online to human communication (phone, face-to-face); a transition that exponentially drives the depth and scope of the relationship. When in doubt, ask yourself what the length of your sales cycle is, and link back to it. 5. Collaboration. One of the most self-defeating paradigms many professional have when it comes to online networking, is that it is a single-dimensional prospecting activity. Nothing could be further from the truth. The true value of an online network resides in its power and potential to access a myriad of information, insights, options and opportunities. Strategy: expand your thinking about your online network. Presume every new contact has the potential to help in some way. Your mission is simply to adopt a collaborative approach and explore how you can help one another.  P.S.: want help with any of these? Simply email me at Happy to add more detail in any area that is important to you.  

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