The most valuable business related relationships I have made over the years never bought anything from me.
I used to network, pass out business cards and look for every opportunity I could to share with anyone I could about my business. I got some sales, made some money but there’s not much more I can tell you now about those transactions.
I visited a BNI meeting once in early 2009 and met a guy who’s business advice literally changed my life and was instrumental in how I grew my business and sold it in 2016.
This past week I conducted business with my banker, my bookkeeper, my tax preparer, a photographer and an attorney all who I have known for years and all of these were more like encounters with friends rather than sales transactions. Because we have a real relationship I receive far more than the just the products and services they offer.
I don’t know the monetary value of all of the tips, advice, support, motivation and more I received from the many people I have developed relationships with but I can guarantee that it’s far more than the amount of money I made from any sales I made from them.
What’s the point Walter? Stop looking for clients and focus on building mutually beneficial relationships. Help people and let people help you, and by help I don’t mean referrals. See the value of the long term relationship over value of a quick sale. Make friends not clients.
The next time you are in a networking meeting or just meeting someone for the first time, make it a point to tell yourself that you don’t want to sell them anything but instead and instead that you just want to learn more about them and see if there is anything that you can do to help them.
Your success is my success. Have a great week.