If you’ve made a spreadsheet, jotted down notes, or used a Contacts App to keep tabs on the people you’ve met… you might be creating your own Personal CRM! Before you hesitate on calling it a ‘Personal Directory’ a ‘Personal CRM’ — here are three reasons how one could help you build and maintain better relationships.

  1. You’ll undeniably remember ‘who’s who’.
  2. You’ll help other people — by connecting them to one another.
  3. You’ll be helped in return (a little rule of reciprocity here)

You’ll Remember Who’s Who

Our memory works through what psychologists call associative memory. It’s defined as “the ability to learn and remember the relationship between unrelated items”. Here at Weavit, we believe relationships are all about connecting the dots between seemingly related and unrelated items. If memory works by association, we actively work to create an association between two distinctive bits of information.

In this way, a personal directory can begin to look like collecting information on your relationships and connecting them with each person. We turn to Cindy Amar, the Head of BPCE Investor Relations, APAC and a friend of Weavit, who tells us about how remembering details has helped her with professional relationship building. She tells us about how one of her clients created such a strong impression as a salesperson.

“She was dedicated to taking notes. because each time she would be like, Oh, how are your kids? I never remember anyone other than my clients and their wives! But she would know the names of my kids, you know, ask about my hometown, because she’s been there. Each time we would meet, she would connect with me because she would mention something we spoke about the last time we met, which was about six months before. She was extremely impressive in her job.”

Taking notes helped Cindy’s client remember things about what they chatted about months ago. Remember, these aren’t “business” details, but personal details. Not only are they helpful for your associative memory, but they also help you connect with others on a deeper level.

Building relationships means remembering the details. Image by Freepik

You’ll Start Connecting Other People

By keeping a personal directory, or a personal CRM, you’ll be able to find connections within your networks and bring people together. At Weavit, we call people who can do this thing: ‘relationship brokers’. Relationship brokers are who bring value from introducing professionals across different domains in their network.

Cindy shares a simple way her directory gave her the ability to broker relationships, connecting two people who previously didn’t know each other:

“He tells me the two kids are going to a school. And they’re you know five and eight and the wife is Australian. Okay. I’m going to put all these data in my notes and my directory under his name, together with his birthday. Then, I meet another guy and he’s telling me that the kids are four and five, or whatever the same age and they also go to movies, and I’m like, Oh, interesting.

Okay, so maybe you know this guy because his kids are going to the same school and his wife is also Australian.”

With jotting simple notes in her own personal CRM, Cindy was able to connect the dots between two people and remember small, but important details.

You’ll be Helped in Return

In terms of achieving your professional goals, your relationships can do more for you than you imagine.

One experienced relationship broker in Investment Relations once said to us, “Your first circle is not that helpful, but is key to introducing you to a second or third-tier network. And that’s when it’s too close to you.” One of the people in her third-tier network then ended up becoming her biggest client at the time.

How about when you’re looking into a field where you have lower expertise? Antoine Vatar, Founder & CEO of Albert Technologies shares a time when he reached out to someone in his network for first-hand expertise:

“To start that conversation, you have used that connection to build or to achieve kind of your own professional goals. Even personal contacts, perhaps, to connect with. A very recent example is when I wanted to push for my real estate license. Because I love real estate and you know that’s something that could enrich me.

I wanted to learn more and I’m like, Okay, I will try that. So let’s try that. Instead of searching the internet all over, I found that I have real estate agents in my network, someone that I trust, someone that I can ask that will be relevant because he knows me. Then, we talked over a drink. He said, ‘By the way, if you want to be efficient on the exam you don’t have to do this. And this is sort of useless. So, it saved me 10 hours of work and, you know, that’s valuable.”

A Quick Recap

Relationships are incredibly valuable for personal and professional reasons. That’s why we’re building Weavit, a tool that can help you connect the dots between and across contacts immediately.

Here are three ways a personal directory can help you maximize your relationships and network:

  1. You remember who’s who
  2. You’ll help other people — by connecting people
  3. You’ll be helped in return

To close, it took Cindy 4 years of being in the industry until she started jotting notes down for the contacts in her network. So remember: it’s never too late to build a personal directory. Start where you are, and build your relationships from there.