Power Networking Blog

Friday, 03 February 2017 08:26

How do you build strong relationships with contacts to strengthen your network?

Teddy Burriss offers some excellent tips on how to strengthen your network. I had to agitate my wee gray cells to come up with some suggestions that would add to the discussion.

One of the things that I have found when it comes to building and strengthening business relationships is to actively discover the common interests that you and the other person have.

Once you discover commonalities you can leverage it for mutual advantage. Note that I didn’t say ‘exploit’ for your advantage.

I belong to a morning breakfast referral networking group i.e. iNetwork Kelowna. One of our beliefs is that people do business with people that they know and trust. Trust comes from getting to know each other, what the other’s business is all about and who would make a good referral for them. We do this by going out for business coffee meetings and getting to know each other.

Spending time with and getting to know your connection is the secret to strengthening the relationship bond.

Mr. Burris talks about ‘lead with give, not need.” Dr. Ivan Meisner Founder of BNI (Business Networking International) takes a little different tact of ‘givers gain!’

Both are variations on a theme. When you do something favourable for another person i.e. your connection, a principal called the Law of Reciprocity kicks in.

What happens is that subconsciously the other person feels the need to repay your generosity. They feel the tension until they act upon it. Once they have repaid the perceived debt, they in turn are more likely to want to do something else for you.

You are not really exploiting them in this case either. A general contractor colleague of mine says that he only does business belly to belly. This addresses the earlier statement of doing business with people you know and trust.

I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend a book that I have written on the subject of building your business network. Power Networking for Shy PeopleTips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly! outlines a strategy for effective networking whether you are shy or not.

 

Question originally answered on Quora.com.

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