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Building Profitable Relationships, Rule 1

Rule 1: The Law of 250Building Profitable Relationships, Rule 1

It's not who you know, it's who your clients, contacts and potential referral partners know.

Let me explain the law of 250. If you ask someone how many people they would like to invite to their wedding on average the answer is 250. This is because on average everyone knows 250 other people. Those 250 are part of their personal referral network.

These relationships include family, friends, co-workers, business associates and a whole host of other people. If you want to be referred to or do business with this network, you have to earn the right by building the relationship. People will not share their contacts unless you’re deserving; just providing a good product or service is only the first step, not the last.

In today's marketplace benefit selling no long works.

If you’re still talking about what wonderful service you give your clients or your fantastic products or opportunity, you’re preaching to the wrong audience. I am always amazed at business owners and professionals who talk about their fantastic service but never communicate with their “customer” after the sale or at best put them on some lame e-mailed newsletter service which gets caught in the spam filter and never read.

People today don’t want to be your client or business associate!

They want a relationship. Clients do not refer other clients. They refer and do business with people that they have an existing relationship with. They refer people in their personal network, to other people in their personal network.

I have met literally thousands of business owners and professionals who are just getting buy because they spend their time looking for clients or leads instead of using this time to build relationships. When they do manage to get a client they don’t even bother to send the client a thank you note. Then they don’t understand why they don’t get referrals.

Here are some important questions to ask.

  • Do provide a service, product or opportunity or a value based relationship?
  • Do you spend your time looking for clients or building relationships?
  • When you first meet someone, online or locally, do you immediately promote your product, service or opportunity, or do you build the relationship to discover common interest and if there is even a need?
  • How much of your marketing budget is devoted to building long lasting relationships with your prospects, client and possible referral sources?
  • How do you start to build a quality relationship?
  • How do you nurture your relationships?
  • Are you getting a good number of referrals? If not, re-evaluate the last 5 quesions.
  • Do you follow the laws of attraction?

Action Steps

Answer the above questions and then act on your results. If you find areas that need work, don't try to fix them all at once. Instead, follow Benjamin Franklin's approach and select one question each week and make it a priority to work on it every day. I suggest you schedule the area that you are working on into your daily to-do list and treat it like an appointment you must keep.

In part 2 we'll look at building and categorizing a list of contacts for maximum results.

Business Relationship Building – Dale Canegie’s Six Rules For Success With People

Building Business Relationships -Dale Canegie's Six Rules For Success With PeopleIn 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.

Building Profitable Relationships, Rule 2

Building Profitable Relationships, Rule 2Rule #2 – Build a List and A-B-C it

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of a business's profits come from just 20% or less of your clients. 80% of your new clients come from 20% or less of your prospects. 80% of your referrals come from 20% or less of your contacts.

For example; if you're in network marketing 80% or your downline commissions come from 20% or less of your business associates. Now it may not be exactly 80/20 – in some cases it could be 90/10 and in others 60/40 – but there's definitely a case for identifying which clients, prospects, referral sources and associates are at the top of your list.

If you dig deeper, you'll find that most of this 80% of your profits, new clients, referrals and downline commissions come from less than 20% of the top 80%.

So how do you find and manage this top 80%?

That's what the A-B-C strategy is all about, finding, managing and profiting from your best clients, prospects, referral sources and associates. (Let's call this your contact list.

Let's look at how this works:

Analyze your contact list to see which category they fall into:

A contacts are your advocates, they are your cheerleaders who that look for ways to promote you and help you succeed. They refer good prospects, they share ideas and most importantly they know, like and trust you and recognize the value you bring to the table.

B contacts are similar to A's but are missing some of the above characteristics. While they know, like and trust you they don't actively act as your advocate. When asked will say good things about you. If someone is actively looking for the kinds of service you provide will mention your name.

C contacts are OK, they to know, like and trust you, but will seldom refer clients, share information or pro-actively promote you and the value of your services.

Of course there are the D contacts. Ones you sometimes wish you had never met, they drain your time and resources. These are the people who are always looking for free advice, trying to get but are never willing to pay or give back. My best advice for this list is to Drop them from your list.

When creating your A-B-C list categorize your contacts, not by how much they buy, but by the strength of your relationships and the total value they bring to the table.

Connect with your A and B list at least once a month.

Take them to lunch, send them cards of appreciation, send referrals their way. If you come across an great article or idea share it with your A and B list.

Your objective is to keep your A list as advocates and upgrade your B list to A's.

As far as your C list is concerned, connect with them periodically.

Make contact about 4 times a year. Include them in your birthday and holiday card list. Keep them in the loop and keep your name in front of them. Some will drop off, others will move up and others will stay the same and occasionally add value.

Of course it's a given that everyone on your list should be treated with respect and if clients receive great service.

Success Tip: Select 2 or 3 people on your list every day and do something to make them feel special.

One of my services is an on demand greeting card and gift service, I teach my clients a simple formula that when followed can have a tremendous impact both personally and professionally.

I have them send out 1 to 3 unexpected cards every day. Not a promotional message, not the standard thank you for your business, a card whose only purpose is to uplift, recognize and appreciate.

Imagine the power in this simple approach, 3 unexpected expressions of recognition and appreciation a day, means that you are making a lot of people feel special and feel really good about you. An added bonus, it's a great way to start your day and operate your business.

While I use greeting cards because it's a cost effective way of keeping my name in front of my clients, it's the thought and attitude that counts, do it however you like, but start today to make at least 3 of your contacts feel special. Try this for 90 days and I guarantee your business will never be the same.

One last point

As the title says, you should consistently add new contacts to your list. When you add a new contact, put them on your A list until they prove otherwise. Our expectations have a powerful impact on the results we achieve, if you treat everyone you meet as an advocate, you'll be amazed at how many live up to your expectations.

Question: When was the last time you segmented your list this way? When was the last time you recognized and appreciated one of your contacts? Are you getting enough referrals? Are you giving enough?

In part 3 we'll look at the value of educating your prospects, clients and contacts and how to create a stream of endless referrals.

Building Profitable Relationships, Rule 3

Building Profitable Relationships, Rule 3Rule #3   Educate your contacts by what you say and do.

Think about the last time a contact sent you a referral? Did you take the time to send a thank you card. Did you keep him in the loop and share the results. Did you actually call the referral? If not, you just taught your contact to never send you a referral again.

Have you ever have a friend buy what you sell from someone else and when you mentioned it to her, she said she did not know that you did that? Ouch!

Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly teaching our contacts, either by the words we say and the action we take, or by our the things we don't do. Here are a few questions to help you see how well you are educating your contacts.

Do your contacts know exactly what you do? Whose responsibility is it to be sure that they understand the value that you bring to the table?

Do your contacts know that you appreciate them and the value that they bring to your life?

Do your clients know that you appreciate their business? When was the last time you told them? We either teach our contacts that they matter or we teach them that they don't. When was the last time you sent a note letting a contact know that you appreciate them, not because they sent you a referral or made a purchase, but just because?

Do your contacts know what a good referral for you looks like? Have you told them? If not, they don't know. Do you know who would be a good referral for your contacts? If not, ask them.

I could go on and on about the little things that make so much difference, but I think you get the point.

We are constantly teaching, either by what we say and do, or by what we fail to say and do. What lessons are you sharing with your contacts?

Action Steps

Answer the above questions and then act on your results. If you find areas that need work, don't try to fix them all at once. Instead, follow Benjamin Franklin's approach and select one question each week and make it a priority to work on it every day. I suggest you schedule the area that you are working on into your daily to-do list and treat it like an appointment you must keep.

In our 4th and final lesson we'll look at how and why you should create your own keep-in-touch program.