When you hear “building relationships”, what does that mean to you?
I attribute much of what I have achieved to the relationships I have built.
During a coaching session this past week, we spoke a lot about the old “it’s not what you know but who you know” and the value in that. Which do you think holds more weight? For me it’s simple. If there is something I don’t know, I look to my circle and ask the person that does know.
Yesterday, I had someone call me who needed to find some more work for his business and I was able to send a couple texts to some other friends and boom, a deal was made. The host of the poker game Saturday night had some empty seats so he asked me if I knew anyone who might want to play, and again, a couple texts later I filled the table. I’m trying to get rid of some stuff I’ve had laying around but really don’t want to deal with the drama of Facebook marketplace so I posted these items on my regular Facebook full of people I have built relationships with and 1, 2, 3 they were all sold.
So how do you “build” relationships?
In a sales seminar back in the late 80’s or early 90’s, I learned one of those simple hacks that I’ll never forget. When you first meet someone, keep asking them questions until you find something that the two of you have in common. It’s shocking how many times I went from having those uncomfortable negative feelings to actually connecting and bonding. I still remember this every time I meet someone new and I’m just not feeling it. Now, of course this doesn’t mean that you will connect with everyone you meet but it helps you to find who you can build a relationship with.
Step two in my formula, “don’t ask for help until you have helped”. The thing I disliked the most about all of the networking events I used to attend was the audacity of people who, within 90 seconds of meeting me and with no effort to get to know me at all, would ask for my business or for me to refer my friends to them. It was crazy! Anyway, focusing on helping others, I found that it wasn’t as hard as I thought to help others. At first I thought “help” came in ways too big or time consuming for me to help very many but I figured out that I could help a lot of people by simply making a couple phone calls, sending a couple emails or texts and just sharing my breakfast or lunch time with them.
Third on the list is “maintain”. Everyone is so busy and never has enough time to complete everything on their lists! I know, I know! Of course, I do offer a time management program that can help you but that’s another conversation 🙂 For me, I had to find simple ways that I could keep these relationships strong and make them even stronger. I enjoy social media so I incorporated a few simple habits of connecting with as many of the people I have met on LinkedIn and Facebook. Second, I figured out how much time I spent driving and started a habit of keeping a “to call” list in my vehicle and using that driving time to just randomly call people. It’s a great feeling when you call someone you haven’t talked to in over a year and then find another way to help them.
Hope that helps and, as always, don’t hesitate to share your feedback with me.