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70 20 10: A Formula for Successful Networking

70 20 10: A Formula for Successful Networking
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Shortly after starting my business in 2008, a friend of mine introduced me to Mike Sansone, who’s business, ConverStations, helped consultants and other small businesses develop and execute their social media strategy. I learned a lot from working with Mike, but the biggest take away was a very simple rule for networking: 70 20 10.

When Mike taught me this formula, we were specifically talking about how to best utilize social media to develop and create awareness around my brand, but this formula is a great guide for face-to-face networking and nurturing productive relationships in general.

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70

When building relationships face to face or via social media you want people to see you a trusted resource. So, make sure 70% of your interactions or their exposure to you is you being just that – a resource. You know that guy at the chamber event or that gal on your Facebook page that only talks about themselves and what they do for a living? Don’t be like them. I have a Facebook contact who I know is trying to make the world a better place, but the only thing I see him post about is the BMW he drives and telling everyone how great his business is. Be a resource.

The only way you can truly be a resource to the people around you is to understand what they are about. What do they like? What don’t they like? What are they interested in? What are they passionate about? What motivates them? When you begin to understand these things, make an effort to give them what they value. The more you do this, the more they will see you as a resource. The more they see you as a resource, the more they will trust you. I don’t care if it’s a business or personal relationship: if there is no trust, there is no relationship.

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20

When people see you as a resource and trustworthy, their walls come down and they are more interested in you. 20% of the time, allow people to get to know you better. While making an effort to relate to them, talk about the things in the world you find value in, engage people in conversation about things you’re passionate about, talk about your kids, or the football game, or the movie you saw. Forget about business and have fun getting to know each other. People work with others whom they trust and like. Let them get to know the real you.

10

When people trust and like you, they are more willing to take time to learn about and support your purpose, mission, and/or business. If you have shown you care about them and have invested time and energy in them, they will be more willing share their resources with you, be it their energy, time, or money. Talk about you and whatever it is you are trying to accomplish only 10% of the time.

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No doubt about it: the only way you are going to be successful is if people know what you do. So, tell them. Just don’t make your sales pitch your identity. If you only talk about yourself and what you do, you are going to be known as the guy or gal who only talks about themselves and what they do. If you only talk to people when you need something from them, they will start to avoid you. If you only call them to talk about your business, they will screen your calls. You smell what I’m cooking?

70 20 10

I try to utilize this formula in all my relationships and it has yet to lead me down the wrong path.

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Be a resource and build trust. Get to know each other and create connection. Do both effectively and your business efforts will be more efficient and your conversations will be more meaningful.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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