Monday, 28 April 2008

The Importance Of Connections

There’s a piece in today’s ‘Guardian’ about the importance of connections. How friends and relations who may – on the face of it – ‘work in useless places’ may in fact, through the Six Degrees Of Separation, be really valuable when it comes to being introduced or connected to new clients or employers. As I have written in my book, my own business success has relied on the importance of such connections. Relationships that I have built with clients, friends, associates. Introductions that contacts have made. Business that I have won through friends, clients, contacts. And they all seem to be interlinked.

On Thursday I met with a guy who has a band that I happened to see in a bar I walked into last year. I have hired the band to play at my 40th birthday party next month. The guy’s day-job is a head-hunter. His departmental partner happens to be the son of one of my father’s oldest friends – they were at school together, and I hadn’t seen him for over 20 years. Unrelated to that connection, it transpires that this partner was himself at school with a friend of mine. The head-hunter emailed me with details of a role they are trying to fill for a client of theirs. I then passed it on to a contact of mine who has an interview lined up for next week: if my contact gets the job, that sure is a long, tenuous but well-connected route to getting it! This story is not remarkable. Indeed such connections seem to be very common; we often meet new people and find that they know friends of friends or that our paths have crossed ‘in a previous life’.

When you can maximise these connections for business benefit, even better; because it’s always easier trying to pitch you or your business to someone who you have some – however tenuous – connection with; rather than to someone who you don’t have any heritage with at all. And however much you try and contrive to create new business from brand new clients and contacts, it’s much more likely that new business will come from your existing network of contacts or a recommendation or a referral.

So stay connected!

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