Networking and referral expert Bob Burg is famous for his quote (from the excellent book “Endless Referrals”): “All things being equal, people do business with, and refer business to people they know, like and trust.”
So in order to build relationships it is important to raise your Know factor, your Like factor and your Trust factor with the people from your network.
What does this mean in practice?
– Know factor: what do people know about you? What is your background? What are your interests on a professional and personal level? Which organizations do you belong to? To raise your Know factor it is important to fill in your Profile on LinkedIn as much as you can.
– Like factor: people like other people who are helpful, kind and not pushy. Applying the networking attitude, thinking about what you can share with other people and answering questions in Discussions and Answers already helps a lot to raise your Like factor.
– Trust factor: there are two kinds of trust:
1. Trust that you are an expert. This part of the trust factor can be raised when answering questions in Answers and Discussions in your field of expertise. By giving good and solid answers you will be perceived as the expert. Also by having recommendations from other people describing your professional expertise your Trust factor will increase.
2. Trust that you will behave in a decent way when you get an introduction or referral. This is a consequence of your behavior described in the Like factor. Having recommendations from other people describing your attitude when working with them will also raise this part of the Trust factor.
LinkedIn helps to raise your Know, Like and Trust factor in many ways. As Stephen M.R. Covey wrote in his book, “The Speed of Trust”: trust can also be transferred from one person to another. Therefore, it is good to ask for introductions and to pass on messages when you trust people; this is one of the best and easiest networking actions to take. It also works the other way around: trust (and your reputation) can be damaged very quickly. So don’t only be a good advocate, but also a good filter!
To your success !