You know the saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? In business, this couldn’t be more true. If you’re an extrovert and come from a well-connected background, then you will have no problem building relationships. But what about the introverts? Or, what about those who do not come from well-connected families?
What if I told you there is a way to make people like and want to work with you?
I did not grow up in a family of entrepreneurs. I grew up in mixed lower income communities in Memphis, where most of my peers did not strive to build strong professional relationships. I know what it’s like to lack the support you need to advance your career. It’s time you take your destiny into your own hands.
Businessman Robert Kiyosaki says, “The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” Do not miss out on a big opportunity because you are too focused on current work instead of future possibilities.
If you can develop the skills to build long-lasting relationships, you will become successful in business. Here are the keys for successful relationship building:
Make a good first impression. If you’re at a networking event, place your name tag on your right shoulder. This makes it easy for people to see your name as they shake your hand. Look at them in the eyes, smile and give a firm handshake. Repeat their name after introducing yourself, and ask them questions to get to know them. Let them do most of the talking and actively pay attention. Nod along and ask questions when appropriate.
Listen for opportunities. Ask them questions about their work like, “What is the biggest challenge you’re facing at the moment?” Do you have a skill or a connection that can help them? Suggest it to them. Offer your help and see if they would be interested in working with you.
Follow-up. If they take you up on the offer, be sure to follow-up by exchanging business cards. Tell them you will reach out to them. Within 24 hours, send a personalized email. Be sure to include something specific from the conversation to make them remember you. Connect with them on LinkedIn to give them an opportunity to read about your professional experience. If they don’t take you up on your initial offer, you should still exchange business cards and connect on LinkedIn. The timing may not be right at the moment, but you don’t know what can happen in the future.
The secret to relationship building is having a genuine interest in the person you are meeting and a desire to help them. People can sense whether someone is phony or dishonest. Put effort into expanding your professional network with people who will push you to become better. Have an open mind and willingness to learn. The law of attraction states positive thinking attracts positive outcomes. For more business tips, subscribe to my YouTube page here.