As a marketer, I understand the power of a great brand. What makes a brand great or successful is not the story the brand is trying to convey to its audience. It’s the effect those stories have on the customers after they have interacted with the brand. Are the customers buying the products that brand offers? Are the customers talking about that brand in a positive way? These are the true qualifiers for determining a brand’s worth.
A similar concept applies to determine if you have been successful in connecting with someone. I define connecting as an authentic attempt to learn or assist someone. This requires some time and effort and does not happen overnight. Your intentions must be genuine and not geared solely towards getting a specific benefit from that connection. During the course of your interactions with a connection, there should be evidence of the benefit you are both getting out of the relationship. When you’ve truly done your part to assist or learn from someone, the effect that has on your connection can be validated in a few ways.
Their willingness to assist you Someone who is always willing to assist you or find someone who can is showing you the value they see in your relationship and their vested interest in making sure you are successful. This is usually the result of a relationship where their generosity has been reciprocated as well.
They seek your advice or input It’s an honor when someone seeks your input and advice especially when it comes to their career or an important decision in their lives. This is evidence of a connection where they feel you have their best interest in mind.
They are willing to provide you with a recommendation When someone is willing to provide you with a recommendation, they are putting their professional reputation on the line which is an obvious sign. A true connection believes in your brand and is willing to be your advocate.
Their honesty Having someone who can be honest in providing input or thoughts is very important and critical to your success. When someone feels comfortable providing you with feedback that either might not be in agreement with your thoughts or is something you weren’t aware of is definitely a sign of a great connection.
One important thing to keep in mind is that the same benefits that are being extended to you should be reciprocated. The goal is not to initiate a connection or to communicate solely when you need something. That is a red flag and in most cases, your connection will fizzle out. If you have a question or are interested in learning more, connect with me.