When did you last hear those immortal words ‘Your reputation precedes you…’? Did you groan and wonder, ‘I wonder what they’ve been told…’
Long gone are the days where we can hide in anonymity, safe in the knowledge that the only thing a new prospect knew about us was the recommendation of a close colleague, and then what we were going to tell them when we met.
On the other hand, a prospect knowing about us before we meet has a host of advantages. Marketers and Networkers have known this for a while.
For a start, if a prospect does some research which suggests you are one of the top people to contact, you can benefit without having even taken the time to talk to them on the phone.
Or if their research suggests you aren’t suitable for their project, they may not contact you at all and save you and them a shedload of money.
By the way, if that last statement made you think ‘but I want that person to ring me!’ then you need to read this post.
Think of the internet as a huge filter, a filter for your prospects.
People search for information online all the time. Today, anyone can put your name or your company name into a search engine and find out all sorts of information about you, information you provided, or information provided by others.
You can see the transparency of the internet as a threat or an opportunity, but either way you need to know about it. If your reputation network is strong, it will filter prospects before they get to you and save you time and money.
So why not find out what your prospects are finding when they search for you? And whilst you’re at it, check out your competitors too.
Jon Cater says
Well done, though the message very general it is something that is in much need of being addressed. Good relations and reproach with others is not only a valuable life lesson, but very much an asset in the success of any career dealing with people, such as Networking. From the time I was I young child I recall hearing “it’s not about what you know, but who you know”, though this phrase has some truth to it knowing people only goes so far. You can know lots of people, but until you establish a relationship that’s worth having yet alone worth sharing no one will ever want a part of what you have to offer.
Thanks for the reply Jon,
I agree that relationships are key to getting value out of ‘who you know’.
One of the advantages of social tools is that they enable people to develop relationships from very flimsy beginnings, gradually, over a long period of time if necessary. These relationships are opt-in, flexible and grow if engagement occurs, even infrequently.
In the traditional networking method one would identify your contacts as within one of a group of concentric circles – your ‘inner circle’ of people you know and trust really well, and then a couple of other circles leading out into the wider world.
In my experience social tools add a couple of extra outlying circles to the diagram.