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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Importance of Building Relationships

By Siewlee Hiew

What are relationships? Why are they important and why do we need to build relationships?

Relationships are the connections people have with each other. Every human being has a deep desire to be connected with others. Everyone, regardless of age or gender, has a need to have other people around them. There is no difference between the young and the old, the males or the females, the married or the singles. No one likes to be alone. In fact, everyone in this world is connected by relationships, directly and indirectly thus forming a network.

There are different types of relationships that one can have. There are the personal relationships between men and women, and those among friends and family, as well as spiritual relationships between a believer and his god. Then there are the professional relationships among the people working together or who are connected through the course of their work or careers. In addition, there are the business relationships between customers and vendors, investors and brokers as well as between partners in joint ventures. Sometimes, the line between these different types of relationships may not be clear and may overlap. Personal relationships between friends and family may lead to professional or business relationships. In the same manner, business partners may also become the closest of friends.

It is important to have relationships because being connected to other people helps us to survive in this world, even more so in this modern time and era. In order to be successful not only in our careers and in the monetary sense but also in living a happy and fulfilling life, we have to be associated with other people as we require their input. We need to have rich and meaningful relationships and we need true and lasting friendships as well as trustworthy business partnerships.

It must be pointed that such relationships do not happen overnight. These relationships have to be built over time. They must be built on trust and integrity, loyalty and sincerity. When relationships are founded on these very important factors, they usually last a lifetime or maybe even through the generations. A lot of times, when adults are good friends, their children will tend to develop lasting friendships too. Similarly in business, partnerships tend to span over the generations when there is trust and integrity. Usually, a good relationship between two individuals will expand into a bigger network of mutual friends or business associates and partners. Thus, building good relationships and a network is the key to success and happiness leading to true wealth.

Having said that, it is important to note that relationships can also be fragile and one has to be careful when dealing with the parties involved. People are only human and they have their own ways and shortcomings. Everybody is different and no two individuals are alike and it is not easy to get along with everyone. However, to build meaningful and lasting relationships we must learn to be understanding and accept them as they are. We must learn to be a friend.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Getting to Know Your Networking Partners

by Kelli C. Holmes

Once you have begun your journey of doing better, smarter business with Relationship Marketing, there will come a time when you need to take those relationships to the next level. You have worked on building relationships with your “Power Partners” and other members in your networking group and with the professionals in your local chamber of commerce, perhaps also a community service organization or in your own personal/social sphere. But do you really know them? Better question, do they really know you?

Getting together for a meeting once a week or once a month is good, but what would happen with your relationships if you invested the time to meet with your networking partners outside of the normal networking meeting, business mixer, committee or board meeting? At TEAM Referral Network we call these meetings “Coaching Sessions”.

“Coaching Sessions”

For your networking partners to refer business to you, they must first get to know who you are and what you have to offer. Meet for lunch or coffee with a different member of your group(s) each week. At this meeting, use the time so you can each share information about one another. Getting to know your networking partners will help you give more referrals and receive more and better referrals.

Here is a guideline to use when you get together:

  • Share information about who your clients are, where they live, work, etc.
  • Share with each other your background, education and any recognition/awards you’ve received.
  • Tell each other about your family life, hobbies and interests.
  • Talk about other organizations you participate in.
  • Exchange literature and/or selling tools.
  • Schedule a visit each others place of business.

Take the opportunity to make these “Coaching Sessions” part of your marketing plans for the next year. The investment of time will pay off in growth for your business!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Successful Networking

by Karen Cormier

Congratulations, you’ve joined a networking group. You get to come in once a week and the referrals will be dropped in your lap…. Wouldn’t that be great?

It takes time and effort to become part of a sales team. When you first join TEAM, we ask that you start with getting to know everyone, by having Coaching Sessions. Once you know and trust the people in your chapter, you (and they) will be comfortable in knowing that you are a person of integrity, and will feel comfortable in sending you referrals.

It’s important to always expand your circle. There are so many different events that happen around town. Make it point to go to a chamber mixer, ribbon cutting or any other event that will be an opportunity to meet new people.

FOLLOW UP!!! If you take someone’s card, ALWAYS call or e mail them, and let them know you enjoyed meeting them. You never know where it may lead.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Relationship Marketing..a better, smarter way of doing business

By Kelli C. Holmes

Determine the value of referrals to your business.

  • Are referrals an important part of your business?

  • What percentage of your business comes from referrals?

  • What percentage of your business do you want to come from referrals?

  • How are you currently developing referrals for your business?

  • What or who are the sources of your referrals? Your clients? Friends? Contacts?

  • What is the basis for you to receive referrals? Your reputation? Credibility? Quality of products or services?

Once you have determined the value of referrals to your business, look for ways to develop good referral sources for your business. Ask yourself the following:

Are you professionally visible? Being an “expert” is not enough. You need to be visible, approachable, understood, trusted and be able to leave a lasting impression. Check your professional visibility by answering these questions.

  • How visible am I in my community?

  • Do people seek me out for my expertise, products or service?

  • Is my impression better than my competitors?

  • Do people view me as a credible resource?

  • How do people react when I present information about my products or services?

  • Are my “networking” activities productive?

Networking Do’s and Don’ts:


· Have a networking plan in place. Know what you want to achieve from your networking activities and how you plan to get it.

  • Know your own strengths, talents and resources. Listen for when a situation may be right.
  • Help others build relationships. Make only those offers you intend to fulfill. Relationship marketing only works when you are genuine.
  • Have business cards with you at all times.
  • Develop a system to track your networking activities and the results.
  • Follow up promptly and professionally on the referrals you receive. Remember to thank the person who referred you.


  • Wait until you need a network to develop one. It takes time to develop relationships.

· Give out your business card indiscriminately. Ask for a business card from someone you would like to give your business card to.

· Don’t be afraid to jump in and network! Networking is a contact sport, it requires your physical presence.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Some Tips on How to Build Business Relationships

By Neha Joshi

Networking is the best way to build business relationships that last. Proper and efficient networking does not only help you gain valuable contacts but also helps in expanding your business. References can take you places and every businessman knows this. Business relationships are not to be built with clients but also with customers. Social networking was done at parties and functions in the old times. Today, the social networking websites have taken us a step further with both, wider reach and wider approach. Networking helps in increasing one to one communication, that saves times.

Another way of increasing your business relationships effectively is to be accessible and easily reachable. Being easily reachable will help you gain faith and trust of other businesses and clients. Someone who is not available at most times will lose out on a lot of business. Remember, that the world never waits for you. It moves on, every single second. At times when you are not reachable, someone else is and he will benefit with all the profits. There is a reason competition exists. Like it has advantages, it also has its disadvantages. Easy reach will also mean that the customers don't have to go out of the way to get in touch with you.

Visibility is another way of increasing your business relationships. Let's see how this works. Just like we look for contacts, others too look for them. This is when you come in the picture. If you are not visible in the market, you will be missed. You will lose out on a large portion of business that is available. Indirectly, you will also lose out on the references and the networking. Networking and marketing will help you in increasing your visibility. The importance of communication is not understood till you see the benefits you can gain from it. Communicating shows that you are there and people can get back to you in case of problems.

Show You Care
Keep birthday records of all your clients and their anniversaries too. Send them a card every year as a token of appreciation, and if possible offer them a discount on those days. Many leading brands and stores follow this policy. You partially retain customer loyalty and also give customers a feeling that they are valued. Memberships are another way of building business relationships that benefit both the client and the businessmen. Make sure that your staff is well trained in customer operations and dealing with grievances. Make sure you always show concern towards employees, clients and customers.

Solve Problems Immediately
This is perhaps the most important point while learning how to build business relationships. Business relationships are to be maintained not only with other business entrepreneurs but also with the clients and the customers. Making your customer care operations effective and fast will help you gain the trust of clients. Clients who are not heard out with their complaints will stop using your products and services and this will be a double loss. You will lose business and also help the competitor make profit. Solving problems and grievances on time will give you the reputation of a business that is efficient.

Now that you know these tips, you can use them effectively to maintain good relationships with fellow businessmen and clients. It is very crucial that you preserve these business relationships. The market is vast, and co-existing is the key to success and survival. Customer retention is one of the most important aspects of any business and this cannot be done without building business relationships.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

5 Business Relationship Building Lessons from Wedding Crashers

By Dave Siteman Garland

This past weekend, my fiancee and I were mindlessly thumbing the TV remote till we landed on one our favorites: Wedding Crashers.

I’ve probably seen a million times (well maybe not a million but at least…a lot). For those that haven’t seen it, you should. It is the story about two best friends (Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn) who “crash weddings” to hook up with girls.

“OK, so what does this have to do with business in shape or form?”

As I watched again, I couldn’t help but realize that there were lessons everywhere (good and bad) when it comes to relationship creating and building.

Meaning, creating and building relationships…out of thin air.

If you think about it, we are all in some shape or form in the business of creating and building relationships…otherwise you would have no business and instead have a product collecting dust, a service unwanted or a rolodex (both virtual and real) empty.

The right people have to know you and you have to know the right people. And this isn’t an offline thing or online thing…it is both.

So, here are a few business takeaways on the art of relationships from Wedding Crashers.

1. Your Genuine Self Will Be Exposed

In Wedding Crashers: The best friends are exposed for being frauds. They lied about their jobs, names and everything else to get the girls. The brief relationships they looked to build were built on lying…and lying never wins in the long run.

The Takeaway: Not being yourself just doesn’t work. At some point, it will be exposed. With social media, blogs and other hyper word-of-mouth methods ready to expose at any moment, it has never been more important to be genuine because one click of the mouse will expose the truth. Lying has never been in style.

2. Being A Wallflower Never Works

In Wedding Crashers: Vince Vaughn’s character gives Owen Wilson’s character a pep talk. He tells him that if he sulks on the side of the party, he will draw negative attention and never get the girl.

The Takeaway: The same is true of businesses online and offline. If you can’t stick out from the pack, you end up fitting in with the masses. You have to get out there and hustle. Nobody goes into business to be mediocre right?

3. A 3rd Party Introduction Always Beats A Cold Call

In Wedding Crashers: Owen Wilson’s character sends the flower girl with a note over to a girl he is looking to meet. On the note, it asks her if she would like to dance (the classic circle yes, no or maybe).

The Takeaway: Are you getting introduced often online and offline? Want to be introduced more? Spend more time doing it yourself and making those introductions to people online and offline?

4. Research, Research, Research

In Wedding Crashers: Before crashing a wedding, the boys do their research. They know who is going to be there and their interests. For example, when John (Owen Wilson’s character) talks with the father of his latest target, he has already researched him and is able to carry on a conversation about his “Position Papers In Micronesia.”

The Takeaway: Information has never been more readily available…and in a good way. Before you meet someone, how much do you know beforehand? Information is a huge advantage (A great way to manage all your relationships from all sites and sources online is Gist. Check it out…great free service).

5. Building Real Relationships Isn’t Instantaneous

In Wedding Crashers: Finally, Owen Wilson discovers a woman he really like and his goal changes from the meaningless one night stand to looking to learn more about her and spending time with her. This leads to an adventure back to her family’s summer home.

The Takeaway: There is a big difference from building real business (and personal) relationships and a one night stand. Which ones are you building?

A little food for thought:

How are you building relationships?

Are you giving first or trying to take?

Is your network growing or shrinking?

Do you feel like you genuinely know more people now than you did two years ago?

Have you introduced someone to someone else this week? Today?

Relationship creating and building at the one-on-one level has always been something vital in business and is continuing to get more and more important by the day. If you don’t focus on doing it well (and authentically)…you might end up running from someone’s house holding your clothes while her Grandma is shooting at you from the front porch (ummm no, that wasn’t personal experience…c’mon didn’t you read the title?)

Monday, February 13, 2012

What is the "Tipping Point" for Your Business?

In today’s economic climate, relationship marketing is extremely important and very necessary. Business owners today, are asked to do a lot with a little. This causes us to continually juggle and multi-task. When a small business owner / entrepreneur / sales person joins a networking group, their expectations may not always be reasonable or realistic. I have found through my years of networking and training of thousands of workshop attendees, that if people get very honest with themselves they realize that their expectation was to receive a significant return with a minimal investment. What do you want to get out of your networking efforts? What do you expect your return on investment (ROI) to be?

Each industry / business category has its own “tipping point”. A tipping point is the event of a previously rare phenomenon becoming rapidly and dramatically more common. Do you know what yours is? I will share with you a few examples to help set the bar and get an idea of your “networking tipping point”, to help you get the most out of your TEAM membership. If you were to represent Mary Kay (or equivalent) and you joined a chapter today, it is very safe to say you could potentially start receiving referrals and transactional business within a few weeks, if not sooner. Let’s look at the opposite end of the spectrum now. If you are in financial services, this is a much more personal and sensitive category. Your investment needs to be much greater before you start receiving a return. It is very realistic to say that you would be looking at 9 – 18 months before you truly start seeing something or possibly anything. Is it worth it? Absolutely it is! You just have to understand the concept and philosophy to this type of environment.

Let me share a story with you to put this into perspective. I have a student of my program, who has since become a friend, who is a Financial Advisor. She went through my course in February 2011 and when she did, she told me she would do everything I told her to do because it wasn’t a matter of wanting to make this work, she had to make this work. No pressure right?! I told her, due to the nature of her industry and the sensitivity of dealing with people’s money and the trust that had to be evoked, it would require her to invest 9 – 18 months of playing “full out” and participating in networking continually. She assured me she got it. She understood and she was fully on board. By October she shared with me her frustration. “I have done everything you told me to do and I have become a great referral source. People have gotten a lot of business from me, but I haven’t received anything in return. This isn’t working, I’m not sure if I can keep doing this. I’m just not getting the value.” Her boss even called me. He said, “ I really need you to intervene, she believes in everything you tell her. She must be doing something wrong, because she isn’t seeing anything. Will you see if she is closing right?” I assured him that she was fine and would start receiving a return on her investment, she just had to reach her “tipping point”. I received a call shortly after Thanksgiving, “I got my first referral, and wrote my first piece of business from networking.” Then a couple weeks later, I received another call, “I got another referral and wrote another plan.” Guess what? Between then and now she has signed up 10 new clients. Just on the verge of her “tipping point”, she was at her ropes end. She had almost given up. She is very glad she didn’t.

Each industry has a different investment level before you will see a return. Now that doesn’t mean that you might not luck out and get something before then. It just means that you won’t see the “mother lode” until you have made your investment. Now to get clear, “investment” is not just showing up to your weekly TEAM meeting. Investment means, SHOWING UP to your TEAM meeting. Playing full out. Engaging in relationships, adding value. Investment means, having a networking plan, creating a commercial strategy, participating in your chapter, doing your coaching sessions and adding value to your TEAM members. Remember, how you do some things is how you do everything! How you do the little things is how you do the big things!

The last tip I would like to share with you to help ensure you get the biggest bang for your investment is track your ROI. Put a dollar amount on your time, track what you spend on networking, get really organized and track the referrals you receive, 1st generation, 2nd generation and 3rd generation etc.. referrals. By understanding your “tipping point”, making a real and honest investment and then tracking your ROI you will be very surprised on your true networking results. If you have any questions or would like any help, please feel free to contact me.

Stacey O’Byrne – Pivot Point Advantage,

Five Tips for Building Better Business Relationships

By Shelby Skrhak

We’ve all heard that it’s not what you know but who you know that determines your success. But sales coach Jim Cathcart asks this: “Who is glad they know you?”

That’s why people do business with others they know and trust. When you offer value to another person, then they have a reason to care about staying connected with you. Cathcart offers these five tips for building better business relationships:

1. Approach each contact as the beginning of a long-term high-value relationship. Expect great things over the long run, and do your part to help both of you achieve your desired outcomes.

2. Plan to be loyal to your customers whether they are loyal to you or not. And be trustworthy, so they will want to be loyal in turn.

3. Continually ask yourself, “What else could I do for them without asking for something else?”

4. Give them the option to occasionally “have a bad day” without becoming upset or judgmental toward them. Nobody is always at their best.

5. Don’t always ask for something, occasionally just give them something or just listen to them without trying to “fix” them or sell to them.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rapport Building Tips for Businesses

By Stephen Rampur

Be Authentic
This is one of the most important factors that you need to consider while dealing with a potential client. In order to impress a client, some businesses present themselves as if they are the only ones who provide the best services. They think that the client will be impressed by their presentation. However, this technique can be very risky. It is strongly recommended that you should show your business the way it is. You should never over-exaggerate about the strong points in your business. Ensure that you do not create a new persona, and do not adopt a tone meant exclusively for the marketing purpose.

Make Quick, but Thoughtful Decisions
Inexperienced marketers do not pay attention to the fact that they need to be thoughtful with their decisions, but at the same time come to prompt conclusions which are beneficial for the company. They should take in mind that a prospective client can only be won if he comes to know that the business is a real beneficial entity. When it comes to not making haste, you should not directly jump on to the business conversation. You need to first create a base on which the customer will weigh his needs and then create a demand for the service you are offering. You should also remember not to take too much time for starting with the business conversation. You need to be quick in responding to customers regarding answering their queries in the correct manner.

Proper Business Attire and Behavior
To build a good rapport among consumers, you need to dress in a professional manner and also act accordingly. For setting a good image of your company in the minds of people, you are required to present yourself in the best possible way. This is also one of the major aspects that contribute to attracting customers to your product or service. Sport a suitable business attire, do not use inappropriate language, do not be very conversational as soon as you meet the client, and do keep professionalism in mind.

Proportion, Protagonism, and Inquiry
One of the most efficacious rapport building exercises is to build a true connection with prospective customers. This can be done by balancing asking questions to consumers with advising them with related matters and doubts. If you talk more than essential, the client will turn your offer down. If you ask too many questions, the clients would have a feeling of being treated like business marketing targets. You need to balance your presentation with keeping their necessities in mind.

Listen to Customers Attentively
One of the major reasons why customers are unable to be convinced is that they are not properly understood by the marketing services. They are expected to alter their needs and essentials according to the services and products which are offered by the company. If potential customers are conscious about you not listening to their requirements and expectations from a product, building a rapport will be nearly impossible. You first need to note customers' anticipations and then present your service accordingly. Read more on business networking.

Due to its effectiveness and known potential in helping to increase a business base, rapport building is being included in marketing mix and marketing plans. The above mentioned rapport building tips should be helpful if you are thinking of building a good rapport for your business. Good Luck!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

10 Tips for Building Business Relationships

By: Rieva Lesonsky

No matter what industry you’re in, building business relationships helps you increase sales, develop innovative ideas and discover new ways to grow your company. Here are 10 tips for building business relationships.

  1. Join the club. Industry trade associations, niche organizations such as groups for minority or women business owners, groups your key clients belong to and your local chamber of commerce are all great places to make new contacts.
  2. Set goals. Know what you are hoping to achieve from a particular organization. Do you want to meet prospective clients, potential partners, job candidates or suppliers? Setting goals will help you assess whether an organization is right for you.
  3. Be prepared. In any situation where you’re meeting new people, bring an open mind and a friendly attitude. Also bring business cards and be ready to describe what your business does in simple terms (“We help small businesses save money by preparing their taxes”). Greet everyone with a smile, eye contact and a handshake.
  4. Mingle. Never spend all your time at an event talking to one person or group. Think of several ways to politely end a conversation and move on. (But first, get contact information from those you’ve been talking to so you can follow up later).
  5. Follow up. When you meet someone you’d like to get to know, follow up. Use social networking tools to link up on LinkedIn, become friends on Facebook or follow each other on Twitter, and you’ll also be exposed to the person’s network of contacts.
  6. Take it offline. Connecting on social media is a good start, but to truly foster a business relationship, you need to spend time face-to-face. Suggest getting together for coffee or a meal to share more about your businesses and how you might work together.
  7. Keep in touch. Business relationships are like flowers-without nurturing, they wither and die. Make it a point to regularly connect with your key relationships, whether it’s retweeting their tweets, mailing a card or meeting for lunch.
  8. Harness technology. Contact management software can help you track information about your contacts so you don’t have to remember birthdays, children’s ages or hobbies. The software does it for you and sets up reminders for actions like emailing or sending birthday cards.
  9. Be patient. Business relationships take time to pay off. It may take years of talking and planning with someone before you actually end up working together or seeing any results from one of their ideas, referrals or suggestions.
  10. Aim to give, not just get. Of course, you want to benefit from business relationships-but that’s more likely to happen if you have a generous attitude. Focus on how you can help your contacts, and you’ll find that you get more than you give.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rome Wasn't Built in a Day

a letter from Cheryl Meyer to her TEAM Referral Network Chapter

Having been an entrepreneur since the beginning of my working life, straight out of High School, this is my first experience with a networking group. I was fortunate in my prior business to have a very distinct target market which did not require networking of this sort. That said, my target market taught me many things, perhaps the most important being perseverance.

I was invited to attend the very first TEAM Westlake meeting which was being held in an effort to form our Luncheon Chapter. My memory is a bit fuzzy but I recall a minimum of 20 business professionals gathered around a table at Tuscany's in Westlake and we simply went around the table and introduced ourselves. Little did I know that I was giving my very first unpolished and unrehearsed "one-minute". What I did know, or perhaps what I sensed, is that I needed and wanted to be a part of this TEAM! I submitted my application on the spot, along with several other insurance agents, however I was the fortunate one to have been selected to fill the insurance category.

Throughout the three years, I have kept track of the results of my efforts and my fellow TEAM members efforts on my behalf. I think the data will support my learning of perseverance.

1st Year Referrals
Given: 31
Received: 24

2nd Year Referrals
Given: 37
Received: 45

3rd Year Referrals
Given: 60
Received: 52

New Business Clients by Year and Inside vs. Outside Referrals

1st Year: 12%
Inside: 67%
Outside: 33%

2nd Year: 20%
Inside: 60%
Outside: 40%

3rd Year: 68%
Inside: 60%
Outside: 40%

Perhaps the most important data is that 68% of my new clients came on board in year 3! I also believe that the quality of my referrals has improved over time and will continue to improve as relationships continue to grow.

I consider the 3 years in which I have invested my time and money into our Chapter to be well worthwhile. I believe that it requires patience, consistency and yes, perseverance to succeed at anything one sets their mind to accomplishing. With each and every Tuesday Luncheon and every Coaching Session, we are planting seeds and we all know that it takes time to Harvest.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Importance of Creating Solid Business Relationships

by Phil Glosserman, Business & Sales Coach

One of the biggest mistakes I see many salespeople and other professionals make is that they take a purely transactional approach to business. They reach out to their clients or customers only when there’s a transaction or an issue to deal with. They seem to think that all that’s important is that they know their stuff and that they do a good job.

The problem with this approach is that on the end of every transaction is a real person. We humans are relational beings. We thrive on relationships, not transactions.

You may do a good job for your clients, but if you don’t build a relationship with them, you’re just another service provider or vendor—in other words, forgettable and replaceable.

People Need to Feel You Care

In my book Sell the Feeling, I talk about the three feelings that people need to have to want to do business with you: 1) trust, 2) confidence, and 3) a feeling of being taken care of.

A number of years ago my wife and I were looking for someone to handle our investments. I interviewed several financial advisers. They were all competent and professional, but one guy really stood out above the rest. He talked about the value of having long-term relationships with his clients. After our meeting, he called me a couple of times to follow up. I could feel that he cared. When it came to picking someone to manage our money, I wanted someone that cared about me, my family, and our future. Of course, I picked him.

Some of the smartest people I’ve met are also the dumbest. My wife and I once met with an estate-planning attorney about creating a will and trust. He was an expert in his field and we had no doubt that he could do a great job for us. But in our meeting, he was technical and aloof. We felt like just another transaction in his busy day. Despite his brilliance, he just didn’t get the relational aspect of business. We felt very blasé about working with him, so we kept looking till we found someone who made us feel cared for.

These days, there are hundreds of professionals who provide the same products or services as you. Providing great products and services is simply not enough anymore.

Relationships Make All the Difference

One of the biggest differentiators you can have in your business is your relationship with your clients. It’s all in how you treat the person in front of you, now and over time. The stronger the relationship, the more likely they’ll stay loyal, give you more business, and refer you to their friends and business associates.

Nurturing your client relationships is in many ways just as important as the work you do for them. I encourage you to reach out periodically to your clients just to check in. Or invite them to lunch for no special reason. It may be challenging to find the time to do it, but I strongly suggest you make the time.

Business runs on relationships and depends on relationships. In every meeting and communication, make your clients feel important and cared for. Remember: The quality of your relationships will determine the quality of your business…and your life.

Phil Glosserman is a business and sales coach and a member of Team Referral’s Culver City chapter. He coaches business owners, salespeople, and other professionals to do what it takes to bring on more clients, grow their business, and multiply their income. He is the author of two books: Sell the Feeling: The 6-Step System that Drives People to Do Business with You and The Referral Code: Unlock a Constant Stream of Business Through the Power of Your Relationships. His Web site is

© 2011-2012 Phil Glosserman. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 3, 2012

3 Deadly Sins of Building Business Relationships

by Diane Helbig

As I was working with a client to develop her social media strategy, she mentioned that she has realized that relationship building is really a business practice. This is someone who was under the misconception that networking is about gathering business cards. She didn’t realize that networking is really about building and maintaining relationships with other business people. As we got her more involved with LinkedIn, she started reconnecting with people she had lost contact with over time–and she was really enjoying the rediscovery. She started to understand the real value that relationships play in business.

A few days later, I saw a friend of mine, Jeff Nischwitz of Think Again, who said that “networking” was a misnomer. “It’s about relationships,” he said. He was really talking about how people have the wrong idea about networking and this wrong idea is making business development difficult for them.

That got me thinking about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to networking and building relationships.

There still seem to be some misunderstandings about networking. Based on some of the behavior I’ve seen, it appears that many people are still missing the whole idea of relationship building. It doesn’t matter whether it is social networking or in-person networking. In the business practice of building relationships, there are three deadly sins to avoid:

1. 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.

I submit that the same is true for “social networking.” Linking in or friending someone online does not mean you have an open invitation to sell to them. Here’s an example of a double whammy – I met a young man at a chamber event. Within a couple of days he sent me a LinkedIn request to connect. I accepted. Now I receive solicitations from him via LinkedIn.

The problem? I don’t know him, so I can’t trust him. He doesn’t know what my situation is or what my needs are. He isn’t matching a solution to a problem. He is solely focused on what he wants. If, on the other hand, he had continued the process of relationship building, he would have learned more about me and my situation. He would have waited to sell until he knew there was a need and until he had established trust. As it stands, I’m not even interested in seeing him at the next chamber function. He accomplished the exact opposite of what he wanted–all because he pitched too early.

2. Signing someone up without permission: As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the deadliest networking sins. It is presumptuous and rude. I believe that when you do this you are telegraphing that you are 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? Where did you get permission to enter their e-mail inbox on a consistent basis? Remember, the simple exchange of business cards is not a license to behave in any way you choose.

The solution is so very simple. When you meet someone and engage in a conversation, you will learn things about them. If you discover that they have an interest in or need for the information you provide, ask them if they’d like to be added to your e-mail list and tell them why you think it would be a good idea for them. If they say “yes,” jot a note to yourself on their card. If they say “no,” don’t do it!

Did you notice the steps? They go in order. To take them out of order is to ask for trouble.

3. Assuming closeness: The story I told above about the young man I met at the chamber event also falls under this category. He assumed that we were closer than we were. He assumed that we had a relationship because of our chamber and online connections.

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.

Nothing sends people running from you quicker than assuming closeness that doesn’t exist. Not only does it send people running, but they will tell others what you did. If you want to destroy your reputation quickly, then by all means, assume closeness. If, on the other hand, you want to grow your business, don’t make assumptions. Rather, grow those relationships first.

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.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

7 Key Relationship Marketing Goals for 2012

by Kelli Holmes

1. Make your One Minute Business Commercial ROCK!

  • Vow to spend 5 minutes on your one minute each week!
  • Get very specific. Think “a great referral for me this week is…”.

2. Commit to be at every TEAM meeting (or have a representative when you cannot be there).

  • Out of sight is out of mind!
  • Being casual about your TEAM attendance commitment implies you are casual in

all of your business commitments. Your networking partners might question your “referability”.

3. Attend all TEAM events (and TEAM Sponsored Events).

  • Local, regional and organizational wide events are offered all the time!
  • Take advantage of these knowledge expanding networking opportunities.
  • Commit to your Personal and Professional Growth by educating yourself this year!

4. Do an AWESOME TEAM presentation when it’s your turn to speak!

  • Prepare a “knock your socks off” presentation to show your stuff.
  • Answer the question… “Why you should refer me”.

5. Do Coaching Sessions!

  • Make a plan to meet “one on one” with every member of your TEAM.
  • Organize your notes from these meetings to be more effective in referring your

networking partners.

6. Expand your “Power Partners” opportunity in TEAM!

  • See who is missing from your “Center of Influence”.
  • Ask your fellow TEAM members to help you invite these key professionals to your chapter.

7. Put all of your Relationship Marketing Goals in Writing!

  • Set specific, measurable goals.
  • Base your goals on personal performance or skills and knowledge to be acquired.
  • Reward yourself in the achievement of your goals!


When you are thinking about how to achieve your goals, ask yourself the following questions…

  • What skills do I need?
  • What information/knowledge do I need?
  • What help do I need?
  • What resources do I need?
  • Is there a better way of doing things?