February 15, 2021

Relationships Rule in Networking

How do you define the words “Business Relationship”? What are some of the components of a “Business Relationship”? (Trust, Liking, Working together, Awareness, Honesty, Integrity,…) We have relationships with Customers, Vendors, Up lines, Down lines, Competitors, Staff….others?

We here in S.E.V.E.N pride ourselves on being a “Relationship Based Networking Group”.

Your whole business success is founded on Relationships! All successful small businesses–regardless of what they do or sell–have one thing in common: their owners know how to build and maintain

relationships. Did you catch the two action words there? Build and Maintain!

Listen to these statements and see if any ring true:

The truth is that I too often get caught up in the details of the kinds of products or services I am trying to sell and or the other person is selling. (the focus is on the sale, the focus is on whether you ‘need’ what the other person has right then and there, the focus is not on the persons.

The truth is that I need to pay my mortgage this month. (the focus is on what you need rather than

trying to fill a need within another person)

The truth is I will never need to use the product or service this fellow networker is selling. (the focus is again on the “I” and not on the opportunity to be a referral source and have that referral source

reciprocate the gesture)

The truth is I need to do a one on one because there is no way they understand what I am offering from listening to my 60 second commercial, and they need it! (the focus again is on the “I”)

The truth is…… I am “I” focused and there is no room for “I” in relationship building!

What works and what doesn’t when it comes to networking and building relationships?

At S.E.V.E.N Networking we encourage heart to hearts (One on Ones), Follow Up and helping others!

Some mistakes that are made:

Pitching early: This is when you meet someone at a networking event, exchange cards, and decide that the card exchange gives you permission to give them a sales pitch. This happens all the time. It’s one of the reasons that some people avoid networking events. They either think they are supposed to behave this way and aren’t comfortable in that role, or they dislike the people who do it and don’t want to be around them.

People who pitch early don’t understand the relationship building aspect of networking. They believe that simply participating in the activity is a license to sell. Well, it isn’t. Networking is the opportunity to begin the relationship building process. Networking gives you the chance to meet people whom you might not otherwise meet. In this case you don’t know what their situation is or what their needs are. You are NOT matching a solution to a problem. You are solely focused on what you want.

Too quick to sign people up: Are you more interested in building your list than in building relationships. How do you know the person needs what you have to offer? How do you know they want to read what you have to say?

Assuming closeness: Do not assume that you have a relationship because of your chamber and or other networking meetings.

Think about the relationships you have with your friends, significant other, co-workers. Did they happen instantly? At “hello”? They didn’t, did they? They had to be built and nurtured; they had to grow over time.

This is not to say they you didn’t feel some sort of connection with some of these people. That sense of connection is what propels you to want to get to know them better. However, until you know someone better, you really don’t know enough to explore the possibility of conducting business with each other.

Ask yourself: Are you in business for the long haul or for a quick hit? If you answered “for the long haul,” then relationship building is a necessity. Do yourself and your business a favor and take the time to build relationships with the people you meet. Most of these people will become great referral partners for you – not customers. The more referral partners you have, the easier it will be to grow your business. Those people you’ve built relationships with will be the best promoters of you and your business.

Another point… What you say in a Networking Meeting or One on One, how you conduct yourself in a Networking Meeting or One on One, speak volumes to those around you in regards to you and your

business! Remember YOU are your business! Are you selfish? Are you focused on you and your

products? Are you negative? Are you aggressive? Are you Prompt, punctual? Are you a listener as well as a talker? Do you make time for dialogue? Are you looking out for the other person? Are you critical of another person or company? Is the conversations about the persons or only product/services?

Remember we all talk ….. How others ‘feel’ about you and what they ‘observe’ about you is how they will represent you when talking with others!

S.E.V.E.N. = Relationship based networking. Our tools: weekly meetings for Relationship building! First 10 minutes of EVERY meeting is open networking! Closing of every meeting is Testimonials for our S.E.V.E.N. members. We encourage “Heart to Hearts” and even award tickets into the monthly drawings for them! Heart to Hearts—NOT business to business! What are you doing to build relationships?

Business photo supplied by www.freepik.com

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