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Secrets to Successful Business Relationships

Monday, December 6th, 2010

Picture this! You are at a function and you find a person gracefully moving across the room who then ask you the question; ‘What do you do?’ You take a deep breath, pause for a second, then either yourself or your new associate that you happen to meet about 10 seconds ago launches into a sales pitch. Then out of the corner of your eye someone hands you a business card that you didn’t ask for. You say, ‘Thank you’ and then you find yourself exchanging business cards without first building that initial relationship.

It’s great to have people know who you are and what you do for a living. Now take a step back and think to yourself, ‘is this the most profitable way to do business?’ Most certainly it is the exact opposite. So what is the most successful way?

Connect with People

Building successful relationships is a connection between individuals which does not require each to sell their business or products. This also extends to handing out business cards as seen in the above example.

If you want to be successful at networking and building relationships which will be highly profitable for your business then you will need to consider it like a loyal friendship. The following strategy will provide some guidance to developing a highly profitable network and avoid the mistakes that many people make.

The Game Plan

Always plan prior to a function. Planning provides direction and a goal. So remember to always plan and set yourself some goals or it could possibly be a waste of time and energy.

When meeting someone always observe body language. To be a Highly successful networker you will:

Act as a host and not a guest

Always be interested in people

Give eye contact

Actively listen

Always smile and

Remember names

The rule of thumb when meeting a person for the first time is to talk about a mutual topic with the focus on introducing yourself first. Give at least 5 to 10 minutes before talking business and asking for their contact details.

The most important action

Lastly following the event the most important task is to follow up. Follow up should occur preferably within 24 hours of the event passing. It is better to personally call them by phone and re-introduce yourself. I know the common mistake is sending an email. Trust me based on experience a phone call is much warmer and will build that solid rapport.

Have a conversation for a few minutes, if you have done your homework properly and actively listen they may have taken you into their world and disclosed various items of interest. This can be hobbies, personal experience, or family. Use their personal interest as an advantage to kick start the conversation i.e. Hey did you get a chance to go to the gym last night? This enforces that you have a keen interest in knowing them and people love other people who speak their language. During the conversation ask to meet over coffee or go for lunch.