The relationships you build can create opportunities for tomorrow.
The network of people you surround yourself with can provide valuable insight and guidance on projects, products, hiring, new ventures and so much more. You never know who you meet in your travels may become an trusted source in your life or your business tomorrow.
For example, when in college, you need internships to build your resume, and build relationships. When you venture out into business, you need clients to purchase your products or services. Establishing relationships early on can be extremely beneficial for you and your business. Typically we tend to gravitate towards our networks for guidance and feedback. It's extremely important to create that 'inner circle' of people you can depend on and trust
There are four aspects of relationship-building:
- Tracking and focusing on networking relationships
- Collaboration over competition
- Relationship management tips
- Diversifying your relationships
Tracking and Focusing on Networking Relationships
If you look around you, there are plenty of opportunities for tracking networking relationships, and you want to focus on that to build your name and brand. These opportunities include:
- After an event such as a conference
- After a meeting, call or email, or social media interaction.
- Before, during, and after a sale.
- After a referral
Send a quick email to those you connected with during a conference or after a phone call, email, or meeting—those with whom you want to build a relationship. To stand out and grab their attention, send snail mail. It’ll take some effort to find mailing addresses, but it'll be worth your while.
After a social media interaction, reach out and let those searching for advice, information, or assistance know you can help, then follow up with an email or call.
Collaboration Over Competition
Although men own more businesses than women, women tend to be more successful entrepreneurs.
Interestingly, studies on what makes global businesses successful revealed how instead of the cutthroat competition prevalent in the business world, women help each other succeed.
For example, they invest in each other’s companies and go into business together. Such collaboration causes a positive and winning ripple effect, pushing them toward success.
Instead of creating or focusing on competition, follow their lead and value collaboration more than getting ahead of other businesses. By nurturing those relationships, you’ll likely see greater business success.
Relationship Management Tips
After all your hard work establishing relationships, you want to nurture them and reap the rewards. The following tips will help you manage those relationships.
- Think of these relationships as friendships. That means be more forgiving, tolerant, and respectful.
- Build authentic connections through shared experiences, genuinely liking people, and developing a good rapport.
- Do some facetime. Yes, don’t rely only on social media to cultivate your relationships. A phone call now and then and spending some time together enables deeper connections.
Diversifying Your Relationships
When you mention diversity, often what comes to mind is gender, race, or age.
However, you can diversify your mindset, accepting that everyone has something they can teach you.
When you’re open to connecting with people different from you, you’ll be surprised at how fruitful those relationships can be. Furthermore, industries are overlapping, so be open to accepting advice from outside your world.
Relationships Build Opportunity
Never stop building meaningful relationships. They can create opportunities for tomorrow you never imagined. Make sure to keep the above tips in mind as you work towards an incredible future.
About the Author, James Webster
James Webster, founder and CEO of ROK Financial has almost two decades of experience within the financial services industry. His passion for helping small business owners and his innovative way of thinking, has allowed him to run multiple successful businesses including National Business Capital & Services. Under the National name, the team was able to help secure over $1 Billion in financing for small businesses nationwide.