It’s all about who you know. You have probably heard someone say this before and if you’re in marketing, you’ve definitely heard someone say this before. You know why? Because it’s the truth.

According to recent research nearly 80% of jobs in Australia are found through personal relationships. Now, that is a staggering number. Simply put: personal relationships run the world. It doesn’t matter in what sort of business you are, it’s just the truth. People aren’t referrals – they are people. Keep that in mind and let’s move on.

Why Is It So Important To Connect With People?

Regardless of status, income, lifestyle or fame, again – people are people, not referrals. Making a connection with someone on a personal level is the perfect breeding ground for striking up a business relationship. Think about that next time you try to get a referral, online or elsewhere.

Before you start thinking about making friends, think about your career path and try to identify what connections are important to you. Once you know that, it’s time to move on to the next part and that is: establishing a relationship.

How To Make A Connection With Another Person?

Relationships take time to cultivate. Try not to rush things. A lot of people fall in the trap of believing that someone owes them something just because they know them. No, they don’t. No one owes you anything and the fact that you know someone doesn’t mean they’ll do you a favor.

Before you begin cultivating a personal relationship with someone, it’s important to keep some things in mind in order for the relationship to progress naturally into a business relationship or a referral:

• Start early (networking isn’t something that can be done at the last minute)
• Be genuine (connections and referrals you truly care about are the only ones that actually work)
• Provide help (the gesture alone can speak for itself)
• Be persistent (if you can’t get a referral right away keep going, you will get there)
• Pay attention ( do your research about the person and pay attention to what they’re saying)
• Stay in touch (don’t become a distant memory – keep connections going)

Getting referrals isn’t a walk in the park, far from it. Getting referrals is, however, a long-term process that needs to be taken one day at a time, so to speak and building a personal relationship is, obviously, the best way to start. Try to keep all these things in mind next time you start networking, online or in real life.