Managing your relationships

Managing your relationships

Speak to any influential person and they’ll attribute their success to hard work and a strong support network. The problem for most people is not the hard work – it’s the networks they’re neglecting.

Making new contacts isn’t tricky either. We’ve all gone through the networking motions – attend function, make light chit-chat, exchange business cards. But if you fail to maintain relationships outside the odd event, they will fall flat.

The amount of effort you put into your Personal Relationship Management (PRM) equates to the amount of influence you have over your network.

Luckily, there are a host of tools and techniques out there designed to make your PRM easy, efficient and effective. Here are four ways you can master PRM and build rewarding professional relationships throughout your career.

1. Move over Rolodex

We’ve spoken about Evernote before and for good reason. It’s your productivity’s best friend. It also happens to be brilliant at storing business cards. This is how you do it:

a. Create a new folder in Evernote called ‘contacts’
b. Open a new note in your ‘contact’ folder
c. Take a phone of the business card via Evernote and attach it to the note.

It’s that easy to keep all your contacts in Evernote which you can access both online and on your smart devices. Plus, Evernote’s premium plan also comes with Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which recognises the text on business cards so you can easily search your contacts.

2. A winning streak

Wouldn’t it be great if you could sort your mess of emails into an actionable process?
Enter the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) service called Streak. This nifty solution adds new functionality to your Gmail account, allowing you to seamlessly manage your customers throughout the entire sales lifecycle – from initial lead to final shipping. It can also be used by developers to track website bugs, HR to manage the hiring process and account managers to provide exceptional customer support. Time to start streaking.

3. Use it or loose it

Nimble is another powerful CRM service that acts as your personal social assistant. It starts by pulling together all your contacts from Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter and other networking services. Then, it identifies the key people to get in touch with as well as why, how and when you should start contacting them. It also keeps you up to date with their online presence, which is handy in itself.

4. Roll up your sleeves

PRM tools are brilliant, but only if you’re willing to put in a bit of hard work.
Gary Vaynerchuck learned this firsthand when he launched his wine e-commerce site Wine Library. Through weekly videos on wine library tv, vigilantly seeking wine advice through Twitter and openly sharing his own tips, he attracted more than 1 Million Twitter followers and achieved business success. You can read about it all in his book Crush It!

We’ve armed you with some powerful PRM weapons to get started and now it’s time for you to build deeper relationships, gain influence and find opportunities hiding in your network. It’s time to get personal.

Share your own PRM tools in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you.