Today we got the opportunity to interview Maria Duron: Marketing Strategist and Coach at Know, Like, and Ignite.
In the interview we go over her relationship building best practices, the tools she uses, and how she manages all the people in her life. She shares some surprising details that may startle you. You can watch the video below.
- Keep consistent personal branding online.
- Keep your database of people fresh and up to date as much as possible.
- Create a system to keep people top of mind so you can stay in contact with them.
- Spend 80 – 90% of your “networking” time with people you already know.
- It takes way more energy to start new relationships than to maintain old ones.
- Listen and keep notes. Use that information to deepen the relationships.
Questions & Answers
Here we give a short Q&A transcript to the interview for quick reading. All the questions are asked by Lucas and all the answers are provided by Maria.
Q: How do you recommend someone go about starting their network from scratch?
A: If you’re just starting out, start with your online profiles. Make sure you have consistent personal branding. That’s what people are going to look to first. They’ll search you and if they see inconsistency that is what works as an obstacle against trust.
You want to build and develop trust quickly. In fact you want to move through Know, Like, & Trust as fast as possible, and you can do that by having consistency in your branding everywhere.
Second is to look at your database because you already know people. Even if you were born yesterday, your parents know people. We’ve got connections everywhere, from school to business to just friends. The big thing is “Have you kept them current?”.
Q: What about someone who already has a network and just wants to maintain it?
A: Really just stay in connection with people. Don’t forget about the people you already have a relationship with. Find ways to stay in constant contact with people.
When a relationship stops being mutually beneficial to both parties, then someone almost always stops participating. This is true not just in business, but also in friendships.
You have to have some sort of system in place to keep them top of mind.
Q: So can I ask, what is your system?
A: I have a database that includes a CRM and a spreadsheet together. I’ve got 18 different types of people that I group people into, and I have a small group of people that I want to stay in contact with and continue to build relationships with.
I would like to connect with everyone, but unfortunately, it gets really difficult to manage thousands upon thousands of connections, so you have to prioritize.
Q: So then how much time do you dedicate to all these relationships?
A: You’ve gotta take care of business. The bulk of people you do business with already know, like & trust you. So it’s not as daunting as most people think. Start looking at the people who you already have a connection with and who they have influence over.
So I’ll spend my 7 – 8 hours per day getting work done, and then I’ll spend a couple of hours connecting with people. Of those couple of hours, I’m going to spend 80 – 90% with people I already know.
It doesn’t take a whole bunch of time and energy to build a new relationship with them. We can start talking, introducing people to each other, and borrow credibility from each other, so it saves a lot of time on the business side.
“Relationships take time. You just can’t microwave them.”Maria Duron
Q: How do you keep things fresh with people and not just a repetitive “How are things going?”
A: It’s taking notes, and really about listening, more than anything else. Especially because we’re groomed to meet people for the first time. We’re used to talking about ourselves instead of listening.
When you’re talking with people you already know, you spend a lot more time listening to them. You’re quiet. You’re asking questions. You’re finding out what’s important to them or what’s the big thing happening in their life?
Then you come back to these points and ask “How did your child’s soccer game turn out?” or “How did that interview go?”
When you do that, because we do live in such a busy world, people appreciate that, when they’re remembered and when what’s important to them is remembered. You stand out head and shoulders above everyone else.
One of the things that I do that is really old school, but it is one of my relationship building best practices and the most valuable ways I stand out with people, is to send a personal thank you note. Handwritten. 3 sentences. They almost always say, “I have never received one before” or “It’s been years since the last one.”
Q: What do you see as the biggest mistake people make?”
A: People spend all their time trying to make new connections. I think that is a mistake because you’re wasting a lot of time in trying to develop credibility and a new relationship. I think you should spend time thinking about who you can deepen your relationship with.
If you’re going to an event, “Why are you going?” Don’t go just to go. Have a purpose and don’t try to litter the room with your business card or flyer. Relationship building is about having conversation.
Q: What’s the one thing you recommend you do everyday? Like an 80/20 rule?”
A: I think the bare minimum is simply keeping your database up-to-date. Make sure you have everyone’s contact information. If you’re not sure you have the right information, ask them! I use the Social CRM nimble.com as my database, but I always looking for better tools like your Personal CRM ryzeapp.co to help stay connected with people.
Once your database is up to date, even if it’s just 5 people, figure out what is something that you can do for someone today.
Q: Do you have any crazy success stories with one of your clients?
A: We were actually working with a startup and were helping them build connections to get started. We ended going through a friend of a friend of a friend, so three degrees of separation. It was an introduction and within 24 hours, we were doing business with them. And mind you they were in Los Angeles so we are a good ways away from each other.
He’s actually grown now to be in 3 countries. He did a little over 3 million in sales and we’ve built relationships in the UK, Australia, and Canada for him, and it all started with a friend of a friend of a friend.
Q: Do you want to impart some final wisdom before we say goodbye?
A: The biggest thing is to simply slow down and think for a moment about who you want to stay in contact with and why that would make a difference in your life. Whether personally or professionally.