In his book “How to Win Friends & Influence People”, Dale Carnegie reveals six rules for building bonds of friendship. In this article I'm going discuss how to use each of these powerful business relationship building rules to your online and off-line relationship marketing.
Relationship Building Rule 1. Become interested in other people.
Most of us involved in marketing are truly interested in other people. Our success in marketing is directly related to understanding our prospects and customers. Our challenge is demonstrating this interest to the people we come into contact with. Here are some easy to implement relationship building ideas that you can use to demonstrate your interest in others.
Do you look for ways to recognize special occasions such as holidays, birthdays, anniversaries both business and personal, promotions, christenings, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, new births, starting a new business, making an important sale? The list goes on and on. Do you take the time to send a card or an e-card, post congratulations on sites like Facebook, tweet a direct message, make a phone call, take them to lunch? Each of these occasions have a special meaning in the hearts and mind of each of us, recognizing them in a tangible way shows others that we are truly interested in them.
Are you available to uplift and support others when they face a challenge?
Do you freely share your expertise?
Do you ever take the time to call people you know, just to catch up?
Opportunities to express interest are endless. Here's a quick tip, make a list of ten ways that you can show your interest in others, add to it and then act on it. If you do, you'll soon find that not only will others know that you are truly interested them, you will automatically become an interesting person.
Relationship Building Rule 2. Smile
A smile is contagious. When someone smiles at you, don't you smile back? How do you feel when someone greets you with a sincere smile? When we are face to face, smiling is fairly easy. But how do you smile online? One way is to make sure that you post a picture on your website or on social sites be sure that it shows your smiling face. Seems like a small point, but when someone you don't know wants to connect with you on sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, don't you first look at their picture. How do you feel when you see someone who looks angry or like they swallowed a pickle. When you post to social sites, send an email, or chat online, keep your messages upbeat and positive AND smile while your writing them. Try it, it works.
Relationship Building Rule 3. A person's name is to that person the sound in any language.
Develop the habit of remembering names, this is a skill you need to develop. If you follow the lives of the most successful communicators, you'll find that they make it a point to remember the name of everyone they meet. They realize that if everyone is important and that everyone loves the sound of their name. When you communicate with people online either via email, chat or on social sites, use their name. If you don't know it, ask them what it is. Asking a person's name and then using it, is a great way to express your interest in them. Hmm, maybe you should at this to your interest log. 🙂
Relationship Building Suggestion: Write the name down as soon as you can. This can help lock it into your mind. I know of one very successful salesperson that, after he gets someone's business card, writes the name on the back three times.
Relationship Building Rule 4. Be a good listener and encourage people to talk about themselves.
Most people do not need much encouragement to talk about themselves, but those who do will likely thank you for such a great conversation. This rule does not mean that we never talk about ourselves, we do. Others need to get to know us as people before they will do business with us or send business our way. But you'll find if you apply the 80/20 rule to your conversations (80% about them and 20% about you), you'll be a very well liked person. This rule can be applied both online and offline. We often communicate with people we connect with on social sites through that sites messaging service or chat system. Build a list of questions that encourages people to open up.
Relationship Building Power Tip: A great resource for helping you do this is the MacKay 66 questionnaire that Harvey MacKay discusses in his books “The Harvey Mackay Rolodex Network Builder” and “Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty”. If you would like a copy you can download it here MacKay 66.
Relationship Building Rule 5. Talk in terms of the other person's interests
If you apply the previous rule you'll quickly learn what others are interested in. Once you do spend a few minutes each day researching those topics so you have something to discuss the next time you meet or interact with them online. As you do your research, save any articles or web sites that you find in their area of interest and send them to them. Again, the MacKay 66 is a great tool for recording what you learn and logging what you have sent them.
Relationship Building Rule 6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely
Notice the talents and abilities of others. Show gratitude to the postman for delivering your mail. Thank your waitress for the great service. If you know their name, use it (remember Rule 3). If you can't find something to admire in another person, you're not looking hard enough.
Making friends both online and offline starts with our liking them first, showing it and by following the above six relationship building rules.
Relationship Building Action Steps:
Make using the above six relationship building rules a habit. I recommend you follow Ben Franklin's approach, Select one rule each week and work on it. Keep doing this until these rules become a habit and then keep doing this. Give this a try for at least twelve weeks, if you do, you'll be amazed at how much business seems to magically appear.
Carnegie's relationship building tips serve as a reminder for how we can all do our part in making our corner of the world a better place.
I hope you found this article to be informative and helpful, if so please share it on your social networks and add your comments and suggestions below.