It doesn’t matter what kind of entrepreneur you are, whether you manufacture, or sell, or freelance, it is always important to have great relationships. It is understood that they are called networks, or networking relationships, but they are all relationships. When it comes to relationships, what do we understand about them? That it is place where due care of each other’s need are taken care of and you stand for each other in times of need. It is general reciprocal with an involvement and understanding stretching beyond regular customs.
You have to have relationships with people in every industry, and keeping in mind the busy schedules that you have whether as a budding entrepreneur or an established one, sparing all that time to build relationships is difficult. How will you spare time and energy to have relationships or networks in such a circumstance? The tips here are going to change the pattern you thought of building your networks and have been handling them.
Come to think of it, do you make friends with all kinds of people? If your answer is no, then you have to handle your networks in the same way. Try to build network with people of similar mindsets, for example, if you have the same idea about something, belong to the same age group, share same beliefs, etc. If all this is too difficult to figure out in the beginning, which is quite likely, then you can move on to the next level of understanding.
How about making friends with people who have a similar industry oriented growth approach, or have a similar growth chart of their respective companies, or if their companies are also targeting and reaching similar stages of evolution, then your friendship can definitely have a great and positive impact on your business! Do not expect yourself to be friends with people who are not like you, it won’t last.
If you think that you can pretend to be like someone else, and influence people, you are a little wrong. If you are real, it is quite likely that you will leave a memorable impact on the people you meet. Rather than trying to get what you have been looking for, try to give people what they want. Either be the one to provide it or get them what they want to have. Most of the deals take place not in the first but after some time of interaction, and this approach will build long term relationship.
It is important to give a part of “you” to others. If you are being self centered, refusing to share what you have and have everything for yourself, you will not get anything because people recognize this tendency and take no time to move on without you. Give of your own; what you’d like others to share with you.
Multiple “touchpoints” with the top 25 percent
While in the business, you meet all kinds of people in big numbers. Initially, everyone appears to be important; however, later you have to learn to prioritize. Later you’ll find it difficult to maintain a personal, healthy contact with all of them. Join them on a social networking site, and make use of it. Leave a personal message, drop a personal email, send a tweet, or send a personal note to top 25 percent that you want to be in touch with. The idea is to have multiple touchpoints over a varied medium of communication. Take time every week to check updates, blogs, promotions, appointments, and make sure that you do not forget to congratulate them.
Blogging and Social Media Groups
Start a professional blog. This is one of the best ways to keep your professional and personal appearances regular. People like to know what you think and what kind of approach you carry towards things. This builds a very professional, personal, and still a very wonderful relationship with mentors, peer groups, workers, and even followers.
Use your blog as a representation of “you”. Don’t start the blog to make money, or to necessarily promote your product. Instead, use it to show that you are an expert in your field. Then join as many social media groups as possible. If your blog is filled with unique content and insight, your group members will recognize your value and you’ll begin to be the person to go to with questions. Before you know it, your clients will be emailing you and it didn’t even cost you a penny to get started.
Never Eat Alone
Or do anything else by yourself it you could be doing it with someone else while building a relationship. In Keith Ferrazzi’s now classic book “Never Eat Alone”, he declares that your social, conference, and event should be FULL. If you have a lunch meeting that goes bad on Monday, you may still have 4 other meetings that week that could go well. But it will all depend on how much you are reaching out and connecting with others.
Make it a point to try to include people in everything you do. The more new connections you make, the more opportunities you will have to make new connections. Don’t waste network opportunity by eating lunch alone.
Think Local, Go Global
Being active at the local level of your chamber, makes you prominent, and gain approval at the local level. You cannot to afford to ignore the local contacts and big shots in the beginning at least. Try cementing a relationship with the local authorities and go higher slowly and gradually. You’d know the value of it, only when you give it a try.
All the small little things that you do will make you and an association with you memorable. It is not always about doing things in a big way, it is about touching all the aspects big or small. It is about carrying respect for gestures tiny or huge. The day you understand and inculcate the value of this interaction at various levels, you’d be able to build structures with a firm foundation that take you a long way.
Being an entrepreneur means that you have to come to play the game for long term and shortsightedness will not reap results. Patience, balance, and thoughtfulness is required to get your to the coveted spot. Do not let hasty decisions, pretenses, lies, etc get to you before you get to your destination of being on top.