I’ve had the good fortune to work for and spend time with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, one of the leading thinkers on the topic of relationship management. LinkedIn itself is very much a reflection of Reid’s philosophy: Relationships Matter. In his book, The Start-Up of You, and in recent blog posts, Reid hammers home the point that the relationship networks you build and maintain play a massive role in how you manage your career and interact with customers in the new world of work.
I couldn’t agree with him more, and I’d argue that while the social networks have made it incredibly easy to build relationship networks, they’ve arguably made it harder to maintain relationships, and the maintenance part is the piece that makes all the difference. Most of us know that the key to maintaining relationships is to invest in them when you don’t need them, so that they’re active when you do; no one likes being the “fair weather friend” who only reaches out when they need something, and no one likes getting the call from that person.
A few considerations: