Are You Just Someone’s Contact?

Are you wondering why the 200 connections you made recently aren’t engaging with you? If that’s the case, it’s important to remember that networking should not be a numbers game. The value in networking is found in the depth of your connections, which matters far more than the quantity.

Making an active effort to deepen a relationship does not go unnoticed, and is often appreciated by your connection. It makes you stand out as opposed to being just another brick in the wall, making you more than another contact in their address book. 

Social media platforms and professional networking sites often measure success by the number of connections or followers, but this can lead to superficial interactions. Genuinely forging connections, however, is about building bridges—creating lasting, meaningful relationships that provide mutual support and growth.

The Importance of Empathy and Shared Experiences

Empathy is at the heart of building meaningful connections. By understanding and sharing the feelings of others, you create a sense of trust and mutual respect. Personal CRMs can help you remember personal details about your contacts, such as their interests, family, and significant life events, which you can use to build rapport and show genuine empathy.

Shared experiences are another crucial element in transforming contacts into allies. Whether it’s collaborating on a project, attending events together, or simply sharing common interests, these experiences create bonds that go beyond professional interactions. Personal CRMs can help you identify opportunities for shared experiences by keeping track of your contacts’ interests and activities.

From Contacts to Invaluable Allies

Building bridges instead of just accumulating contacts requires a deliberate and thoughtful approach. Focus on developing a smaller number of meaningful relationships rather than trying to connect with everyone. Deep and intentional connections are more valuable and impactful than a vast network of superficial ones. 

Professor Robin Dunbar’s research supports this idea, suggesting that humans can only maintain a limited number of stable social relationships—often cited as Dunbar’s Number, around 150 connections. Covve hosts a podcast called “Wired to Socialize” with Professor Dunbar, which explores the science behind building relationships and underscores the importance of quality over quantity.

Authenticity is crucial in building trust. Be yourself, show genuine interest in others, and be honest in your interactions. People are more likely to connect with you on a deeper level when they sense your authenticity. Be proactive in offering help and support to your contacts. Whether it’s sharing useful information, providing introductions, or offering a helping hand, showing that you are willing to support others fosters reciprocity and strengthens your relationships.

The Role of Personal CRM in Building Relationships

Personal Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools have emerged as a powerful solution for fostering deeper connections. Unlike traditional CRM systems designed for sales and marketing, personal CRMs focus on the individual and their relationships. These tools help users keep track of their interactions, set reminders for follow-ups, and maintain a comprehensive view of their personal and professional networks.

  1. Tracking Interactions – Personal CRMs allow you to log every interaction you have with your contacts. Whether it’s a casual catch-up over coffee, a professional meeting, or a congratulatory message on a milestone, recording these interactions helps you maintain a detailed history of your relationships.
  2. Setting Reminders for Follow-Ups – Consistent communication is key to nurturing relationships. Personal CRMs enable you to set reminders for follow-ups, ensuring that you stay in touch regularly.
  3. Celebrating Achievements – Acknowledging and celebrating your contacts’ achievements is a powerful way to strengthen your relationships. Personal CRMs can notify you of important events and milestones in your contacts’ lives, allowing you to send personalized messages of congratulations.

Consistency in communication and interactions is essential for maintaining relationships. Use personal CRM tools to remind you of regular follow-ups and ensure that you are consistently engaging with your contacts. This consistent engagement is vital in transforming contacts into invaluable allies, reinforcing the idea that genuine, deep connections are the cornerstone of effective networking.

Give Covve a try for free. If you’re not quite ready, subscribe to The Networker, our bi-weekly newsletter, to stay up to date on connection insights and tips. 

Written on 27 Jun 2024.

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