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Do You Know Who All I Know? Confusing Contacts as Friends

We have all come across people who will boast about themselves by trying to associate with people they have hardly met. Who try to link up to everything and everyone to some people they know.

A lot of people report a random handshake or a QnA in a industry forum as, “Oh! I know him very well. We meet often at events. ” One can well imagine this as a typical exaggeration from Bollywood where a smile is reported as touch, a touch as a kiss and kiss as … .

Meeting in a public conference, exchanging business cards or receiving a reply on a blog post does not mean that you know the guy. Using his name to create social proof for yourself does not really work in long run. Rather it’s the best way to lose your credibility within the ecosystem.

I have come across a lot of startups lately who bank upon their business ideas based on who they know. No doubt, personal contacts are very helpful in any business as that is your first round of customers but the problem arises when you rely on them to run your business. You also need to learn the difference between a contact and a friend. Never forget that you are running  a business and if it is not business for the other guy also, they are only as good as a random handshake.

Everybody in your contact book is not your friend, just like every lead in your CRM is not your customer and every business card in your wallet is not your contact.

Last weekend i met the 5th person who said to me, “I know that pluggdin wala guy. He will …. for me.” He ofcourse didn’t know who i am.

This reminds of an old PJ:  I know the President of US, only that he doesn’t know me. We have attended events together, only with 50,000 others. I even got a reply from his email, only that it was an auto reply. We went to the same place for holidays, only about 2 months apart.

Sorry guys but business doesn’t work that way.

[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]

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