Making the connection is a huge part of business (and life in general!) is relationship building. Bonding with people, namely clients, will create loyalty, forgiveness when things don’t go just right, and make business life fun.
If connecting with people isn’t your forte or doesn’t come naturally, there are a couple things to ponder … Are you open to growing this part of yourself? Or are you a stick-to-yourself introvert who knows that no matter what you do, it simply isn’t going to happen? Either one is fine, but if you are the former, keep reading. If you are the latter, find a business partner or hire a marketing person to make the connections for you. There is a reason that most behind-the-scenes type of people (i.e. web developers, engineers) are NOT regularly meeting with their clients, and there is power in understanding that. Keep doing what you are good at.
Here are a few helpful tips that can get you started in the right direction:
Smile when you talk! Even if it’s fake at first, it has physiological reactions in your body and will project a warmness from you to others and make you instantly more attractive. For more on this: http://bit.ly/1GZy5a3
When out networking, put yourself on the back burner and put your focus on the other person. Ask about them, and most importantly, find a commonality. Finding that one thing you have in common will really set the relationship in motion. That common thread could be as simple as you both seeing something funny happening in the room, or that you both did something similar in a former part of your life. Try to dig deeper than the fact that you both have children.
I recently met a gal at an Open House for GLAMBeauty Bar in Vancouver, WA (Ladies, check this place out – it’s awesome!) who had just moved from Seattle back to Vancouver where both sides of the family were living to get help with her two-year-old boy. I could relate because I moved back home 8 years ago to family for the very same reasons. However, the real bonding moment was when I asked her what she did, and she mentioned interior design consulting while being a mom … Very similar thing that I did in Colorado! I then instantly remembered one of my favorite accessory shopping stores that I LOVED in Colorado and recently saw in the Seattle area, called Hobby Lobby! We ended up talking about all the great things we have purchased from there and laughed about how awful the name and logo are. Instant Bond! It wasn’t that we both moved near family or that we both did interior design; rather, it was Hobby Lobby!! The world is so small, really, and making connections is actually quite simple. How many steps away are you from Kevin Bacon?
“Givers Gain” is top on my list of reasons why I like making connections and the most effective ways of doing so. Get to know the person and ask how you can best help them. By listening to them, their story and what their goals are, you might come up with some great ideas for them. What are your strengths? Is it that you have great marketing ideas? Share those ideas! Is it that you know someone that could really grow their business, by just an introduction? Do it. Make sure that you do whatever you say you are going to do. The worst thing to do is to over promise and under deliver.
It feels great to give and it WILL come back to you, so rest your pretty head about that. Smile – you are instantly more attractive and people will gravitate to the energy and joy that you radiate. And lastly, find that common thread that links you to people. Connecting with others comes with truly listening and asking questions..
Best in your Success,