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Tips For Building Relationships

May 18, 2008
If you're starting up a new business, one of the key skills that you have to learn is about selling yourself and your services but to most people this doesn't come naturally.

Many folks feel uncomfortable in these situations especially when dealing with strangers and it gets to the point where you are continually looking to find the next line to keep the conversation going rather than focusing on the subject matter of the conversation.

Wouldn't it be great if you could sell to people that you already know, and even better if these people not only understood your business but were also able to recommend it to their friends and associates?

This is the principle behind business networking - a low cost method of promoting your business in a way that also embodies a relaxed and friendly environment.

But before you start "selling" the key is to build relationships and this starts with getting to know, like and trust people. So try these business networking tips and market your business in a way that makes you feel comfortable.

How To Get to Know People?

You've got to be able to concisely describe yourself, the service that you offer and of course it's benefits. Let's face it, if you can't describe them, then how can you expect others to recommend you?

Try to be clear about what you want - what is your target market and who do you want referrals to?

Think about how someone can recognize that other businesses may need your service? This is critical for getting others to recommend your business in the right moment.

Prepare promotional material that clearly and accurately states what your business is about. Take your business cards for example and ask yourself whether they pass the "Ronseal" test - do they do what it says on the tin?

How Do You Get Others To Like You?

Rules 1, 2, 3 & 4 are all the same. Give, give, give and give.

1. Always try to help others before asking for help yourself.
2. Never criticize anyone.
3. Give written or verbal testimonials about the services of others whenever you can.
4. Always be supportive to others when they need it.

How Do You Build Trust?

Follow these three simple guiding principles and the trust will come:-

Firstly just be yourself, don't try to be someone you are not. It's you that people want to get to know, if you put on an act you won't be able to keep it up and people will see through it.

Secondly, if you commit to do something for someone then do it! If you can, do it faster than you promised and exceed expectations.

Thirdly, pay people on time. You're in business and your word is your bond. If you want a reputation for not being trustworthy, telling others that "the cheque is in the post" is the fastest way to building a bad reputation.

Summary

Apply these business networking techniques and you stand a real chance of developing your business in a way that you feel comfortable; in fact, you might even start to enjoy it!
About the Author
Louise Yates shares business networking information and business networking tips for word of mouth marketing, generating referrals and free sales leads together with performance business coaching for your work, life and career development.
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