Tools, Drools, and Fools
Temporal Complexity

What Does It Take to Get Good Contacts?

Whatever you are building in terms of a business organization or a church or some other movement, you will need people to accomplish your goals. It is all about creating community (communities).

It was said of singer/son-writer/ragamuffin Rich Mullins that he created communities wherever he went. That is why when he died tragically at the age of 42, they had to have a traveling memorial service that moved from city to city.

Communities develop as we bring people together. To bring people together, we must meet people, introduce people, and set a table where they can continue to meet. That begins with contacts and referrals.

One of the truly great mentors in this area is Bob Burg. I recommend that any serious student/practitioner of this art get his book and the CD series and absorb/apply it. How to Develop a Network of Endless Referrals is a great starting place.

At the heart of the matter is the question of motive. While honest and transparent self-interest is healthy, it must be held in balance with a larger set of interests. If we are interested in people only for what they can do for us, that Will also be transparent and a detriment to what we are trying to accomplish. We cannot show interest in another person unless we are genuinely interested in them.

We just cultivate a sense of wonder and appreciation for people as marvelous beings made in the image of God who are valuable and fascinating to know for no other reason than just knowing them. When we meet and share lives with others, we benefit in ways that may be intangible, but are profound. When we add value to other people's lives through encouragement, we encourage ourselves.

There is no such thing as a wasted contact. Every appointment is a divine appointment. Every opportunity to meet a new person has a mystical and miraculous dimension. God is bringing someone into our lives for His own purposes and that may involve our goals as well. If not, that is fine because  real success is  larger than those goals.

We live in a world of uncharted adventures and unknown wonders. Infuse your business with that philosophy and see what happens.

When we meet someone, we must view them as valuable and see in them a beauty and potential that is beyond time and space. If you believe that, everything about you will communicate it.

After that, it is simple. Extend your hand. Introduce yourself. Follow some guidelines like those Bob Burg suggests.

What does it take? First, be among people regularly. Next, keep your eyes open for points of contact. Then, extend yourself by extending your hand. After that, ask good questions and listen carefully. Finally, do not part without sharing contact information.

Then (as if anything comes after "finally" - and much does), follow-up. More on this later.