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building business relationships

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How Social Are You?

The average person has 5 social media accounts and spends approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes browsing those accounts every day looking for likes, shares, followers and connections. Additionally we spend another 2 plus hours browsing, commenting, and continuously searching for ways to add value to our lives. Think about the following statements:

"Stop chasing likes and do more likable things." Peter Shankman - I had a conversation with the founder of HARO (Help A Reporter Out), talking about the benefits of building relationships over searching for social media accolades. We both agree being likable far outweighs likes.

Focus on RonR, not R.O.I. - Social media influencer and expert Ted Rubin says that you should focus on engagement and building relationships and the financial results will come. Create and add value to your relationships. These values aren't reflected in the balance sheet and they can't be counted on an income statement. Although not leveraged financial assets, these relationships will pay huge benefits.

Stop chasing likes and do more likable things.
— Peter Shankman

Instead of looking for followers, be worthy of being followed. Stop turning around, wondering if anyone is following. Be your best self, the authentic you and share yourself with the world and people will gravitate organically toward you. Looking for more keys to boosting your self worth, check out this post I wrote about improving your self worth.

Share the ideas of others and worry less about your ideas being shared. Spread the messages of others, adding value to your relationship with them and show others you have an interest in helping them be successful. Help others get what they want and you will get what you want. Jeffrey Hayzlett is a believer in the step and repeat process. Find something that works and repeat the same action. Sharing other's ideas is an idea worth repeating. 

A small network of engaged individuals is better than a large network of disconnected robots. Bigger is not always better according to Carlos Gil . Build your network with others that have similar interests, keep them engaged and stay interested in what they offer as well and your network will grow.

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A little known secret about relationship building

Consider for a moment that relationships are like airplanes moving from takeoff to landing, point A to point B.  Wind, weather and other circumstances both natural and mechanical will determine how efficiently and effectively that airplane travels between these two points. The pilot, a trained professional, has two major responsibilities. First, he must prepare and take precautionary steps, including adjusting the plane’s altitude, speed and mechanical controls, avoiding danger along the route. And second, he must react to the circumstances and conditions presented, keeping the plane and all occupants safe the entire flight. He has no control of the circumstances. He is able to control his actions as they relate to those circumstances. Wind shear, weather patterns, and unexpected mechanical emergencies are outside of his control. However, with proper training and discipline, the pilot will be prepared in the event any issues arise during flight. Even when no adverse circumstances are presented, the pilot, co-pilot and other staff are constantly checking conditions, monitoring variables and making adjustments. These adjustments are needed to keep the plane safe from mechanical danger, allow for a smooth journey for the passengers and to ensure an on-time, safe arrival at their final destination.

 

Relationships are much the same way. If you get involved with someone, whether it’s personal or business, be aware that relationships are not static. By nature, relationships are dynamic, always changing. Making adjustments along the way is very important, even if you do not necessarily sense a big change in conditions; just like on that airplane.

Little changes made along the way will have a lasting impression in the long run.  The secret? It’s so much easier to make small, almost unnoticeable adjustments along the way than to make big changes to your relationships. As a matter of fact, the small actions you take will be fun, create lasting memories and be easy to institute. Conversely, making big changes could potentially rip the fabric of your sometimes fragile relationships. Even relationships you think are not fragile can be very delicate. And since many people do not like change, it may potentially destroy a relationship you have built.  

Put small, everyday positive actions into your personal relationships and you will find your relationships will flourish.  The effort will be minimal but the impact will be tremendous. Telling your partner, "I love you," leaving small notes on the kitchen counter, a 30 second phone call during a busy day just to say, "Thinking about you." Something as simple as a single flower picked from the garden or purchased at the gas station when filling up. The point is, it doesn't really matter what you do, but the mere action of doing something shows you really care. 

Don’t assume your partner knows how you feel just because you help contribute to the monthly rent payment or that you cleaned up your dishes in the sink. Keep the spark alive and the fire of the relationship burning.  It reminds me of the couple that has been cold to each other for years, not communicating properly or showing affection toward each other. When asked about it, years later in therapy, while trying to salvage their failing marriage, one of the partners says, “I don’t understand what happened. I told her I loved her when we got married. I promised that day if anything changes, I would let her know. Nothing has changed, I’m not sure why she’s so mad all the time. Now that we are in therapy, I bought her a Mercedes and she’s still angry with me.” Show affection before it’s too late and appreciate your partner now and stop taking them for granted.

As it relates to a professional relationship, it’s the little things like sending a handwritten note to say thanks for the business, a text message to say “hello, I appreciate you and your business,” or a well-timed delivery of donuts or goodies that says, “You are awesome!” 

Every relationship requires work, effort, patience and understanding. As your relationship begins, lots of energy is expended getting it moving, just like a plane during takeoff. But once airborne, even small shifts in steering and other instruments, over the long haul, can make dramatic changes to the journey. Make adjustments and take positive action to improve the relationships in your life. The words, just because, will create lasting, positive results. As your relationship develops, your actions, even small ones under the guise of, just because, will help steer the direction of your relationship. So what are you waiting for, send out that text message, pen that handwritten thank you note or hand deliver those cupcakes to someone special in your life. And if asked why, tell them, “It's the little things.”

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"Please Leave A Message," and Other Business Killing Practices

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"Please Leave A Message," and Other Business Killing Practices

Ever play hide and seek? I bet you play it every day and don't even realize it. Technology and its acceptance in the business world has changed the way we exchange information with people reaching out to us. We have it so easy, and I am not saying that in a good way. The modern day game of hide and seek has become a practice of customers seeking and you hiding.  You think you are ultra available and within reach of anyone that needs to get to you, and you should be. Just look at all the ways they can communicate with you -- cell phone, social media, landline, text message, and more. However, a further examination of the numbers shows us you are less responsive than ever. Looking at Twitter alone, only 30% of customer inquiries or complaints are typically responded to when initiated via that social channel. And only 44% of those that responded did so in under 24 hours. That is a failing grade. If you are working at building business relationships, you will need to focus more on communicating effectively with your customers.

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