Thursday, February 24, 2011

Relationship Building: A Business and Personal Perspective

Regardless of the type of relationship you are building, consistency is paramount.  Whether you are trying to woo the girl or guy of your dreams or impress a potential client to land that big fish contract, customer satisfaction is EVERYTHING!  Many folks have the erroneous notion that once you close on that contract or walk down the aisle, the hard work is over.  However, the real work is just beginning.  Relationship building in any type of marketing . . . business or self promotion is an on-going process.  It must be addressed in hierarchical manner similar to the needs outlined by Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.  Lower level needs must be met before addressing higher level needs.  In relationship building, clients and suitors want consistency.  Simply put, you have to follow through.  It is not enough to MEAN what you SAY and SAY what you mean, your ACTIONS must not betray your WORDS!  Give the people what you promise them and you have half of your battle won.  

Next, on-going communication is essential.  No one likes to be left in the dark.  Demonstrating dependability and availability creates trust and supports loyalty to you or to your brand.  Achieving these two levels of success create reasonable expectations in your business and personal relationships.  Most folks are able to keep up with these two expectations, but the next two levels of success distinguish the tortoise from the hare! The next level in the hierarchy dictates that you see and provide for your prospects as individuals.  There is no catch all or blanket solution that encompasses all types of relationships.  However, there is one action that many overlook that is the passageway to the individualized answer for EVERYBODY.  That action is to LISTEN to your prospect.  They will tell you what they want and need.  Don’t know what to get for your beloved on a holiday?  Ask and LISTEN to the answer.  Not sure which way to go in marketing services for a client?  Ask for their input and ACT upon it.  Even if it does not work out, you have provided a customize solution and prospects do not forget that you valued their input on a project.  

Once you have achieved the last and highest level of the relationship building hierarchy, you can breathe a little easier, but only for a moment!  You will know that you have earned the respect and admiration of your partner or prospect when they ask you for your opinion on important matters.  It is only when people feel valued and important to you that they will seek you out for your expertise.  Once this level of loyalty and rapport has been established, relationships like these are there for the long-term.   You can then look forward to a long, mutually beneficial business or personal relationship. 
The bottom line is that it is easier to develop such alliances by using attraction marketing.  Allow people to come to you that are looking for you!  Connect with like-minded individuals in social and business networking venues and ask for referrals and recommendations from experts in your areas of interest.  Find out more on branding yourself and your business at

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