January 16, 2011

Relationships – What Do They Really Mean?

Previously, we have discussed networking relationships.  What do networking relationships really mean to us in our business lives as well as in our personal lives?  Do the relationships that impact our business lives also impact our personal lives?

What is a networking relationship?  As stated before, a networking relationship is established when you meet someone at some business function and follow-up to meet them one-on-one for a “get acquainted” chat, getting to know them better.  At that point you have established a networking relationship, but what does it really mean?

In this relationship, you should be able to determine if you know and trust the other person enough to refer business to them and they should be able to determine the same about you.  We have already discussed referrals, and you should review that information from a previous blog.

However, there is something else about networking relationship besides referrals.  The other person should be someone to whom you can go for information, for advice, and for assistance in business.  Of course, the relationship should be reciprocal.  In addition, the two parties in the relationship should be willing to provide information and advice even when it may not be what the other party wants to hear.

We are all in business to succeed.  However, we have a vested interest in making our networking partners succeed.  That interest means that we sometimes tell our partners something that they do not wish to hear.  We may offer a better way of doing some project, a better way of writing a brochure, or a better manner to pursue some particular business.

We need our networking partners; we also need to be networking partners.  If we are to be successful, we need to help our partners to be successful.  Only through actively being partners can we reap the success that giving to others can bring.  Putting forth assistance to others will reap that assistance for our business.

Our partners need to be aware of our other partners.  They need to be able to tap into the information and support available through this extended network.  It is your responsibility to enable this networking function.  Introduce various partners to each other; encourage others to introduce their partners to yours; follow-up with anyone and everyone to insure that this networking takes place.

As you go about your business, you are networking each and every day.  Everyone that you meet can be added to your network of trusted partners.  Make sure that they are really a part of your network; be on the lookout for people who you can connect with each other.  Tell them about each other, put them in touch with each other, and encourage them to do the same.

Of course, there may be a time when someone does not want to be a partner.  Some business people just want to look out for themselves and do not want to be a member of your partnership network.  It is your responsibility to attempt to educate them; it is up to you to enlighten them, if you can.  Everyone that you can educate to this way of thinking will thank you for your efforts later.

Don’t forget that you yourself must show your appreciation for others and their assistance to you.  Don’t forget that you must show appreciation to others for their assistance to the other members of your network.  This feedback may be the best way of demonstrating the way that the network should work, enabling others to see what they themselves should do for others.

So, go about your business days, meeting people and enlarging your network.  Bring others into your network and find out how you can help them to succeed.  They will thank you in the future, and you will reap the benefits in your own business.  Then see if there is an impact on your personal life also.

I would appreciate your sharing your opinions and your stories about appreciation marketing and networking relationships.  Please call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com, and let me hear from you.  I promise that I will answer your calls and emails and add you to my network and offer my assistance if possible to make your business, and life, better.


  1. Hi Jim,
    Thanks for the valuable blog about the value of building relationships with a growing network of like-minded people.
    I am thankful that Scott and I attended the after hours networking group back in October 2010. We understand the value of business people from all categories and wish to learn and grow.
    Great points about getting to know people and their needs. It's been fun and I feel like I'm going to college, but yet it's not "college" but I'm definitely getting my education! I am enjoying the journey.
    Thanks for leading by example!
    Sarah L.

  2. "You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want."
    ~Zig Ziglar

    This is what it reminds me of.. remember that and we got it good :c)