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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Invest Your Time to Build Relationships

You know a lot of people, but how well do you really know them? By investing your time to strengthen relationships you will grow a strong referral network.
You may have heard the phrase, it’s, "Who you know." Well, many believe that the phrase, "How well you know them and how they do business" that counts.

This means your network must not only be broad, it must also be deep. Unfortunately, most people make lots of contacts hoping to find that special someone that will become a client. They are simply gaining exposure and some visibility. These people need to consider this… eucalyptus trees have a shallow root system and the oak tree has a root system that grows deep into the ground. During heavy winds, the eucalyptus tree blows over and yet the oak will weather the storm. Which tree are you? If you want to be the oak tree you need to build a relationship based on trust and deepen the roots of your network. Let’s get you started.
1. Determine who is in your network that has the same ideal client as you do. Ask around to determine if this person and the business are reputable. Visit their website and read the marketing material.
2. Schedule an hour and get to know them as a person and about their business. At the end of an hour you will know if you want to get to know them better or not.
3. If you still want to know them after the initial hour invite them out for a social event, attend a networking event together, or a fundraiser to further strengthening the relationship.
4. Once trust has been established you may want to pass a referral or make an introduction to someone in your network in order to move the relationship along. This is important, one referral or introduction only… follow up on this and see how it goes. If all goes well, then get your “Ask in Gear” and ask for a referral or introduction in return.
We all know the best time to plant an oak tree was 25 years ago; however, the next best time is now! Invest your time and develop business relationships with deep roots, it will be worth it.

Laura Bruno
The Business Relationship Authority

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