“BG” (Before Google) LinkedIn and other social networking platforms, any recruiter worth his or her salt maintained a contact book. It included their inner circle from A to Z and was worth it’s weight in business gold. It benchmarked your connectivity and a solid black book was a sure sign that you had the “C-Factor.”
Networking and connectivity (the C-Factor) is about making contacts and building enduring, mutually valuable and sustainable relationships. Today, with the development of social networking, this process has shifted slightly to become, not just about who you know but also who knows you. This means that over time, the C-factor has become slightly more complex, as business relationships become more multi-layered than ever before which can cause confusion. Seduced by the endorphin high of a Facebook like, a Twitter #FF or a Google +1 we can forget that although all make a contribution to the C-Factor, they are not the same as a confirmed order or a signed contract. At some point we have to pick up the phone, get out there and meet the right people.
Any senior executive or entrepreneur in any sector, but especially recruitment, will tell us that their network is one of their most powerful tools in their business. For anyone who has any commercial exposure they will also add that they spend most of the working week cultivating these critical relationships.
The C-Factor check list
- You have an authentic story that people relate to and encourages willing engagement
- You show interest and understand the stories of others
- You create mutually beneficial relationships
- You manage your network, not allowing it to manage you
- If you can help, you will.
- You have zero expectation of reciprocity
- You are highly visible
- You recognise the key members of your network on a regular basis with no agenda
- You acknowledge and reciprocate with gestures
- You follow through on promises
- If you can’t do something, you say so
- You reply when you can and when appropriate
- You understand the dynamics of your business and stay abreast of any developments
- You are connected to and value the key players in your sector
- You are a recognised as a significant member of your business community
- You can tap effortlessly into your sector knowledge resources and know the go-to curators
- You are considered to be a door opener for others
- You are willing to refer and are offered referrals in return
- Networking is an integral part of your personal and business development plan
- Your position means you are visible for new career opportunities
- You are able to gracefully draw the line under unproductive relationships
How did you do?