By Dayna Mathews for GalTime.com
Since the word, “networking” seems to have somewhat of a negative connotation, I’ve opted now to call it “relationship building” because, well, that’s what networking is – Or at least that’s what it should be.
Have you ever been to a networking event of some kind only to leave feeling annoyed because you were bombarded with people shoving information in your face, trying to sell you something? An idea, a piece of jewelry, a business consulting package. You name it, I’m sure someone has tried to sell you on it.
I’ll tell you a story illustrating my point here. About three years ago, I got involved with selling life and health insurance. No offense to anyone in the industry, but that was NOT for me. Anyway, since I was in this industry I needed to meet people; I needed to…network. Bah! Scary for a 22 year-old brand new to the big, bad Scottsdale, Arizona business networking crowd. But, I did it. I attended networking events 3 times a week for 2 months straight, and I met A LOT of people. And guess what? I haven’t kept in contact with ANY of the people I met during those two months. Why? Because none of them actually cared about me. None of them built a relationship with me. And not one of them sold me anything, either. Catching my drift here?
Selling isn’t the problem. The problem is the approach we typically take to do so. In order to sell someone something, whether it be ourselves, our idea, or our product, we need to first focus on building the relationship. In today’s world, people don’t invest in just anything. We invest in people and brands we trust. Trust is earned, but only with the building of a solid relationship.
Follow these 5 easy tips to build effective, lasting relationships with just about anyone:
1. Be Authentic – Because, who likes a fake?
My advice is to show people who you are right away Be the genuine version of yourself all the time and people will recognize it. Don’t change yourself or lie about your credentials/experience to be someone you think the other person would like to see. Sooner or later, people spot that behavior. As soon as they do, they’ll go running for the hills.
2. Be Likeable – Because no one likes a butthead.
This concept seems so easy, right? Why do some people have such a hard time with it then? While I can’t answer that question (it’s quite loaded), I can tell you that if you want to be successful in life and in business, be a likeable person and do likeable business. Dave Kerpen, co-founder of Likeable Media, created a VERY successful business out of teaching people and businesses how to be likeable. He couldn’t have done that if people were already successful in doing so. Smile at people, everyone; be nice – think before you act & speak; be helpful & cooperative; follow up with people – make them feel like they matter; and be a Positive Polly – it’s contagious!
3. Follow Through—Because we like people who keep their word.
This one is pretty simple. When you say you’ll do something, do it. Even the smallest of commitments – sending a follow-up email, creating that spreadsheet, calling back that pain-in-the-butt client of yours – are very important to keep. When you follow through on your word, people notice. When people notice, you become someone they trust. And isn’t trust the key to building great relationships?
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4. Show Some Love – Because, as the Beatles say, “All You Need is Love”
This one is my personal favorite because I’m all about love. When I say “love” I don’t mean romantic love or the mushy gushy stuff. I mean showing people that you care about them. Asking questions about their day, their week, their life. Saying “Happy Birthday” or “Congrats” or “Wow, you’re really awesome!” is personal and it shows people that you care about them and their wellbeing. I think the most important, though, is saying “Thank you.” Showing gratitude is so easy to do, yet so many of us forget to do it. Don’t be that person.
5. Be Selfless – Because no one likes a Selfish Sally.
When was the last time you asked, “How can I help you?” and genuinely meant it? For many of us, it’s probably been awhile. Do things for others regularly. Introduce two of your LinkedIn connections who may be of benefit to one another. Ask your co-worker if s/he’d like you to pick up lunch since you’re headed out. Say “YES!” when you receive the email asking for volunteers for this Saturday’s food drive. When you see an opportunity to give, take it. The more give the more you receive, I promise. I love this quote by Kahlil Gibran: “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
Now, off you go to make connections, build those relationships and become successful. If you choose to utilize these tips, you will see your life change, I promise!
What other tips do you follow when you are building relationships? Please leave a comment below; I’d love to hear from you!
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This story first appeared on GalTime.com: http://www.galtime.com/story/23130562/5-ways-to-build-lasting-relationships-at-work
5 Ways to Build Lasting Relationships at Work