Building strong professional relationships is one of the most important daily activities you should be doing as a small business owner. Here’s a guide.
Professional Relationship Building 101
It’s not what you know, but WHO you know, right?
And further: it’s not WHO you know, but who knows WHAT you know.
(Hat tip to Michael Port for that one.)
So before you start the tough slog of marketing to unknowns, how about you start by plucking the low-hanging fruit of building better relationships?
Because when it comes to “marketing”, you might well be running before you’re ready, and there’s some gentle course correction needed.
(Warning – this post contains more parentheses than should be allowed in any single piece of writing.)
(Case in point – see above)
I used to be a juggler.
In fact, I used to make a living from it.
The story is here.
It’s a far cry from controlling air-traffic, but there are similarities between the two.
We like to be told what to do – we have a natural attraction to authority.
In times of crisis, we look for the person in charge.
Even in times of nothing-like-crisis, we appreciate being given instructions.
Instructions give us security. With instructions we know where we’re going.
Your prospects appreciate being given instructions, too.
NOTE: This was a subscribers-only email that got me my largest number of complaints so far. If you’re not a subscriber yet, just sign up here. I write emails like this one regularly, most days in fact.
So I figure that one of the worst jobs in the world has got to be the job of the fluffer.
A fluffer works on adult film sets. It’s their job (I’m using a gender-neutral pronoun, as both men and women get to do it) to keep the male talent “on form” in between takes.
A fluffer keeps the star of the show excited, but doesn’t give him any satisfaction.
They stroke, but they don’t seal the deal.
… and I’m guessing a lot of your prospects are like that.
When I want a beer, I want one NOW. The instant gratification that comes with the first gulp of gizzard-numbing goodness can’t be kept from me for too long, or I start to get antsy.
Similarly, when you’ve got a yearning for a sugar rush and you’re waiting in line at the Hole Foods Donut Emporium, the line always moves too slowly.
When we’re on hold for customer service, or when we’re drumming our fingers as a YouTube video loads, or when we’re waiting for the lottery results, we can’t get satisfied quickly enough.
Because when we want something … really want something … we want it now.
So here’s my quandary:
Lots of people I meet tell me how badly they want more customers, more clients, more sales, more bling.
But their sales activity belies them.