|My family: Who are these people?|
We focus so much on using our networking skills to make our business lives more successful. We choose our groups and events to put us in a position to connect with our clients or (even better) those who would put us in touch with our clients. We make our calls and emails to extend those relationships. We hope when someone calls us that they might have a good referral to bump up our bottom line.
Hey, using your network for business is just fine. In fact it’s one of the most powerful ways to grow your business. Remember, though, that your company or your job is only a portion of your life. Hopefully you have something more to look forward to each morning than just how many contracts you’ll sign.
It’s called a personal life.
Believe it or not, the same skills that develop your business connections will stand you in good stead with those who are closest to you in your life. Let’s look at some applications.
Would it boost your personal relationships if you made contact a little more often? Why not add them to your tickler file? If you use that tool regularly, you’ll never have to feel guilty again that you’ve allowed six months to go past without calling to say hello.
Now ask yourself about some of those people close to you. Do you know what your brother does when he isn’t managing the auto parts store? Do you know what groups your dad belongs to? Do you know what life goals your adult children hold close to their hearts? Whether you use INFER, FORM, GAINS, or some other acronym to remind you to ask, finding out more about your loved ones can only bring you closer.
Plus it might help you find that “perfect” gift when it comes to birthdays, Christmas, or whatever other gift-giving holidays you might celebrate.
Now that you’ve found out the information, wouldn’t it make sense to record it somewhere? Make a special category in your Outlook/Gmail/other CRM system for your friends and family. Track what they tell you so the next time you call you can ask them for more details about something you’ve already discussed or even find something new to talk about.
Remember that networking builds relationships of all kinds. Some will be for business, some for personal reasons. Some of the very best may even straddle the line. In the end, they all contribute to the richness which is our life.