Hi, my name is Dean Hunt, and in the past month alone I have had lots of new relationships…
Heck, I had over 20 this past weekend, one with a Samurai called Shane, and one with a married couple… oh, and how could I forget the slick guy from Poland?!?
Now, before you light your pitchforks and cast sin upon me… I should stress, I am talking about business relationships here.
You see, I passionately believe that the best way a small business owner or entrepreneur can grow their business FAST… is through relationships.
Let’s start by looking at some of the ways a relationship can help you in business, and then we will look at some of the tricks and mistakes that people make when it comes to this powerful art and science.
Why Should You Give a Damn About Relationships in Your Business?
There are too many benefits to list… but here are a few to get you started:
* Sell more stuff
* Great for brainstorming, advice, masterminds etc
* Speaking invites
* Webinar invites
* Co-product creation
* Strategic referrals
* Trusted recommendations
* New business opportunities
* Building your brand
Those are just a few, there are literally hundreds more…
But the truth of the matter is that building relationships is not a “what’s in it for me” mentality… this is where most people go wrong… so let’s look at some of the DO’s and DONT’s of relationships in business.
DO = Push your comfort zone.
Are you nervous about going to a networking event? Are you scared to pick up the phone? Then this is exactly what you should do… “money is where the fear is”… trust me, it gets easier, and is well worth it.
DON’T = Focus on yourself.
Imagine speaking to someone and then bombarding them with stories about yourself… what have you gained from that? What have you learned from it? Chances are, very little… so focus your attention and conversation to the other person.
PS: I am guilty of making this mistake, but I am actively working on it… it is hard because my stories are so awesome. haha
DO = Have a system to store your relationships.
Unless you are the rainman, chances are that you will not be able to remember the names and contact details of everyone you meet… personally use HighRiseHQ to store my contacts… an old school folder is fine, as is a spreadsheet.
DON’T = Try and get married on a first date.
I see people make this mistake all the time… basically, this means that people try and close the deal before they have even started to build a REAL connection…
I don’t want to promote your product when I don’t even know your name!!!
DO = Follow-up…
I am sure we are all guilty of making a great first impression and then going years without speaking again… you have done the hard part, so make sure you follow-up regularly.
DON’T = Only focus your time and energy on the “A-listers”
Many of my close friends and connections come from speaking to attendees at events, not just the speakers. Don’t be a fame whore.
DO = Be a “Trust Bridge”.
I have to credit my friend Chris Diagle for this term… Chris is business development manager for Ryan Deiss, and we recently spoke about the value of being a trust bridge…
This basically is the act of introducing two people to each other who can mutually benefit from that connection.
As a middle man, or “trust bridge” you are saying that both parties are cool, and well worth connecting with. I do this often, and ask for nothing in return… how can you be a trust bridge in your industry?
The relationships and people side of the industry are not areas that get discussed often enough in my humble opinion… and as someone who was rather introverted as a child, I believe there is a science to this art.
If you would like me to discuss this side of things further, ranging from rapport building, influence, networking like a pro, getting speaking gigs, finding promoters for your products or services, how to fascinate people, or even how to use Facebook to build great relationships without Facebook using you and your time… please comment below.
Enjoy, and remember, behind every great business is a great person.. so go say hi.
PS: Comment on this blog post and I will name my first child after you.