Tag Archive for: leveraging relationships

We have only so much time and energy in our lives. We’re generally oblivious to the passing of time until there’s a holiday, an important date, or something traumatic happens. We can either float around on this river of time and go where the current takes us, or we can swim toward our destination. Part of that direction includes spending as much time as you can with the people who add the most to your life.

I try to interact as much as possible with people who contribute to my 3 Fs: family, faith, and finance. I try to spend my time with people who contribute to my life in some way. There are people you know who recharge your battery and those who drain it. The more charged up you are, the more energy you have for what’s essential in your life.

  1. Family

I’m blessed with a wonderful family. They keep me going and I hope I do the same for them. We all face challenges, but with strong family support, if you can’t change a situation at the very least you can make the most of it.

A major reason I’m in business is to support my family. I want them to have the resources for their needs and enough of the things they want to keep them happy. Money may not buy you a happy family, but it gives you options.

We all need balance in our lives. You can get a lot of satisfaction from a successful business, as well as a good income, but it’s not worth it if you have no time or energy for the people you love.

  1. Faith

Successful business owners have all kinds of faiths. There are people accomplishing amazing things from all parts of the globe of every faith, including those who don’t belong to an organized faith. I’m not here to convert you to one or another, just to try to open your eyes to the possibilities of faith.

I think we all need some kind of faith to make sense of this world. Increasingly Americans consider themselves to be spiritual but not religious. They find a way to work that into their lives that suits them. If your faith isn’t a God-based religion, maybe you have faith in your potential and that of others.

Whether we’re alive on Earth because of an unfathomable grand plan or sheer luck, we should be working toward creating a better place for everyone. I’d like to think that’s a faith we can all believe in.

I want to spend time with people who build my faith. You should too. It’s a harsh world, and despite all the millennia humans have been alive, it’s hard to find a good reason why bad things happen to good people. I want to make the most of my life, so I try to work with those who strengthen and broaden my faith because it helps me get through the day, to decide right and wrong, and make the most of my life.

  1. Finance

A successful business can be very gratifying, but it’s income that pays the bills and allows you to save for the future. I’m constantly trying to find the right people who, in some way, will help my business and my finances. You never know who you might meet or how they might contribute.

This doesn’t mean your life should be a quest for people to exploit (if it is, what kind of faith do you have?). But it should be about finding people who will help you and developing relationships in which you can return the favor.

You need to find new clients and customers, so keep your eyes and ears open to meeting those who can help you directly and indirectly through a board of directors. It’s the most effective and efficient way to grow your business while allowing you the opportunity to give back to others who help you.

Get the Help Your Business Needs

If you want to learn more about how to leverage your relationships with business partners and grow your business, fill out my contact form and attend one of my online seminars. Let’s start the conversation about how we can help ourselves and others.

COVID-19 has upended the world and many relationships since March. What hasn’t changed is the need for your business to grow. Depending on your industry, this year may have been a struggle, or you may be doing very well. Whether you need to turn the corner or continue to succeed, it is always a good time to create new business relationships and strengthen existing ones.

There’s a Lot More Than Talking, Shaking Hands, Exchanging Cards, and Drinking Coffee

We’ve all been to networking meetings, lunches, and presentations. They’re now on Zoom, so there are fewer human connections to make. Some groups require you to pay to belong and send referrals to others. Those approaches may work for some, and maybe they’ve worked for you, but they’re mostly a lot of time and effort with not much in return.

Business relationships are not created by handing out cards and going to lunch. They’re formed when two professionals have a deliberate intention to contribute to each other’s bottom line. It’s an approach that’s much more focused and effective.

Networking groups generally have the same idea, but the commitment isn’t there. When you meet someone at a networking group, you may try to figure out who the two of you know, who might connect with whom to help each other out. It is all very nice, but the difference is like playing in a softball bar league and the Major Leagues. It’s a whole different level.

Build a Business Relationship and a Board of Directors

Come with your hand up, not with your hand out. How can you help another individual build their business? How can you help them make money right now? These are the questions you should ask yourselves.

Build a board of directors (BOD) for your business, know what each member does, and join their BOD. Survey other connections and prospects on behalf of your BOD. Go through a mental checklist of members.

  • What’s their service?
  • What do they sell?
  • What problems do they solve?
  • Who are their target prospects?

If a realtor is on your BOD, or you’re on their BOD, ask someone you know, “Are you looking to buy or sell a house in the next year?” If so, not only may your realtor friend want the business, but your BOD member who does home repair or sells insurance might be interested as well.

Create connections that will help you and others. Be ready to introduce your client to that realtor. Schedule a call or get them on the phone right away while the issue is on the top of the person’s mind. Follow up with a phone call, text, or email. Follow-up is critical for your own sales and helping others.

Business love is not a thank you, a handshake, or a warm fuzzy feeling.  It is a collaborative partnership that yields opportunities and money for everyone involved. It’s about doing good for others, helping them and yourself do well. It’s a rewarding result, not just financially, but emotionally too.

Friends are great and we all need friends. But they probably don’t help pay your mortgage. If they don’t contribute to your bottom line, they are only a friend.

Help Others Help You

If you want to learn more about how to leverage your relationships and grow your business, call me at (856)905-7040 or fill out my contact form, and attend one of my online seminars. Let’s start the conversation about how we can help ourselves and others.

In our personal and professional lives, we all purchase goods and services from others. We give them something of value (usually money) and we get something of value in return. We may get a used car, paint, or a repaired lawnmower. These are ongoing relationships that can mean so much more with a little extra effort.

Some of our relationships can include our:

  • Insurance Agent
  • Accountant
  • Banker
  • Lawyer
  • Dentist
  • Hairdresser
  • Plumber
  • Landscaper
  • Mechanic  

You probably maintain these relationships because you’re happy with the service or product. You might also like the person and refer business to them. If you’re thinking of them and taking the time to talk to others about their business, you’re engaged in some of the most valuable marketing and sales they could possibly get – word of mouth or social proof. 

Social Proof is a Powerful Tool if You Know How to Use It

Social proof is a marketing and psychological term. When we need a product or service, we want to do it right. The top priority for many of us is finding someone trustworthy (especially if we’re buying something important or expensive). If we don’t know who that is, we could take a lot of time and energy, and investigate who’s available, credible, and provides a good value. We could also use trial and error. We might pick someone at random. It might be a good result or it may be a disaster.

Or we can avoid that risk, time, and energy by asking someone else for a suggestion. We will assume that if someone else had a good experience, we probably will too. Social proof is so powerful it’s spawned a whole online industry. It’s why there’s Yelp, Angie’s List, and Avvo. It’s why Amazon product listings include reviews and why there are testimonials about how a candidate is such a great person on political ads.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Your social proof helps build their businesses. Are they helping build your business too? Are they working hard to refer others to you? Probably not:

  • They may not know what you do. You may not have invested the time to fully introduce yourself and explain what you do, the problems you solve, and the types of clients and customers you seek.
  • Did you ask them for help? They may be happy help you, but unless you ask, they may not think about it.

It shouldn’t be a hard request to make, especially if the other person owns or runs a business. They should be willing to exchange the value you’re providing them (payment for their goods and services plus positive word of mouth) with value to you. Ideally, your contacts should have a sense of fair play. It’s only fair they help you if you’re helping them.

Another big reason for them to refer you to others is another psychological issue, reciprocity. Generally, we hate feeling indebted to others. We will go out of our way to do something for someone who did, or just offers to do, something for us. If you tell your accountant or mechanic that you’re actively telling people about them, they’ll feel indebted to you, even if no one you talked to came to them. To relieve themselves of that debt, they’re likely to “pay you back” by talking up your business. 

Help Others Help You

If you want to learn more about how to leverage your relationships and grow your business, call me at (856)905-7040 or fill out my contact form, and attend one of my online seminars. Let’s start the conversation about how we can help ourselves and others.