There are subtle differences in how people take in and process business information. Some people hoard it like it’s a priceless stash of gold. Some people reflect it back to the rest of the world (a la blogging). But, there are a special few who recognize that sharing specific information with specific people effectively sets up a powerful system of relationship building.
Here’s the idea: If you’re already a serious business person (I’ll assume you are if you’re reading this), then it’s also likely that you spend quite a bit of time staying on top of your game; researching, learning, studying your craft, thinking about new and innovative ways to improve your processes, products & services, etc. etc. In all this time, do you also think about who else might benefit from having that information … including your competitors? If not, make that shift.
Several things will happen:
…¢ You’ll be developing a relationship built on mutual respect and comradery
…¢ You’ll be seen as a synergist instead of one jockeying for competitive position
…¢ You’ll find that the idea is reciprocated ten fold!
Take it up a notch: Give people specific ideas of the kinds of information you’d like to receive. I commonly tell people to send me URLs and images of the “top 1%” or the “bottom 1%” of website designs and logos they encounter. Let me tell you, I’ve had some doooozies sent my way because of this one simple request. This request is simple enough that anyone can do it, and it’s an idea that may cross their mind A LOT.
Similarly, Tim Sanders talks about how Mike Rawlings, CEO of Pizza Hut, will give up a lunch hour to call two of his customers just to find out their view of his company and services AND to ask them about their “life situation”. This is a VERY inspirational story and worthy of watching the video. The point is that Mike gets the importance of relationship building and then takes it to a whole new level.
Tim describes in the post preceeding the one cited above how he uses frequent travel hours (flights, cab rides, hotel lobbies, etc.) to connect with total strangers. Tim, indeed, has The Likeability Factor.