Being in a time that has forcefully limited us from connecting with people face to face, we must find unique ways to create new relationships instead. Relationships are the glue to your business, your social life, your health, and your happiness.
Most of us know how to make new friendships, but how do you create the right relationships that will be mutually beneficial to personal and financial growth? It starts with you and your personal value systems. I don’t know if you’re like me, but most of my friendships early on started solely due to the fact that we shared the same taste in music or we liked dating similar types of girls. As someone who wants to constantly progress in life, the way you choose your relationships has to be based on being around others that share a similar vision for life and business. This applies for friendships and for client relationships
An issue that is commonly seen in sales especially is being so eager to get new clients that one forgets to build a friendship with the prospective client. You may say to yourself, “I don’t need more friends, I need more clients.” Of course, everyone in business or sales wants to grow their client base, but unless you genuinely care about and add value to your new clients then this growth won’t happen.
So how do you create initial trust with your clients? First of all, be yourself. Keep it professional, but be authentic in your communication as you would with friends and family. The more connected and comfortable you feel with your clients, the more likely they are to feel the same towards you. This connection is built initially on having common interests or values in life outside of business. Talk with your prospective clients about hobbies, personal growth, family, etc… this will show them that you’re a real person. In general, people will open up and trust you if you can open up and trust them first. Following this, it’s important to apply the principles learned from books like “How To Win Friends And Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. The person who can learn to ask questions about others and listen more than speaking wins at building trust.
Now, although it is fantastic to grow clientele, it is also very important to be selective with the types of clients you bring onboard. You don’t want to bring on everyone that is willing to spend money with you. It is possible to have “bad clients”, believe it or not. Some clients you work with could mean well, but can be detrimental to your growth. If a client is always finding problems, and rarely seeing the positive in situations, then most likely they will drain your energy. No matter how big of a client they are, this can stunt your growth majorly. I have a few business owner friends who have voluntarily refunded 10s of thousands of dollars to clients for no other reason than the client being an energy drain to their business. Also, it is important to work with people within your scope of expertise. You’re setting yourself up to fail if you don’t feel confident delivering on a service. Confidence in knowing that you can deliver and actually following through are very simple ways to stand out and add value and trust to your business relationships.
By implementing some of the points expressed above, you can expect more long term business, referrals, and meaningful friendships in or out of business.
About the Author:
Max Muir is co-founder at Establish, a company passionate about building authentic and prestigious personal brands that stand out for entrepreneurs. He stands by the fact that the better you are at building relationships, then the bigger and better your business will be.