Talk about the Kevin Bacon game, 6 degrees of separation. You remember the game, right? Connect Kevin Bacon to everyone in Hollywood in 6 connections or less. That was all the rage even before we got hooked on Facebook and the other social media networks. All you have to is to check Facebook or LinkedIn to see that usually we are only a few connections away, or less, from someone else.
This is not only an interesting coincidence—it can truly come in handy in many instances. For example, it can serve us well in business, or not so well, depending on the relationships we have. For instance, there is a local business person in my community who has terrible reviews on her Yelp profile, and other similar review sites. Those are public and easy to find, whether they are positive or negative. I want to be careful about how I am connected to her, and certainly stay on top of those social media connections.
Whenever I have a potential client connect with me, I look at my LinkedIn profile to see who we have in common, and then I may reach out to my friends that we have in common to see if they have any feedback that would be instrumental or detrimental. This can often give me a lead on how to approach that potential client, and get me some insider information that can be useful.
Also, mentioning common connections can be a helpful technique when reaching out to cold contacts. Recently a prospective client noticed that we both had a high profile business person in common, and he asked me how I knew that person. When I told him that the person he was referring to was a client and a friend, he was sufficiently impressed and it sealed the deal on getting a meeting.
Make connections, accept connections, and if have any soured connections, remove them so bad apples can’t ruin your bunch. Put your best foot forward when you are building your business, and maximize the connections that you have established. They can be a great tool for building new connections and developing trust and rapport with new potential clients and connections.
We are all more closely connected that you may realize and that can help you or hinder you—depending on how you choose to use that information. If you have anything to share on this topic,
please leave me a comment below and let’s get the conversation started!