So you decide to engage with the people that you meet during your networking activities and seek them out for meetings one-on-one in order to get to know each other better and therefore be able to help each advance the success of your businesses.
The first problem that you may face will be the reluctance of others to believe that you really want to help other people succeed. You must be able to have these one-on-one meetings in order to get to know each other. Without these meetings you are unable to see each other’s facial expressions, hand gestures, and other actions that add to what we hear from someone’s words and speech.
We must make each other comfortable enough so that we will be able to have these face-to-face meetings and actually be able to speak frankly and honestly with each other. The intention of these meetings is not to sell to each other but to discover what each of us needs to succeed. We must convince each other that we are not meeting with them to sell them anything, but to find out about them and their business.
You must reassure the person with whom you wish to meet that you are not going to pitch your products or services to them. You are merely attempting to discover facts about them, their business, and their goals and aims for the future. You must get them to understand that you cannot refer others to them for any reason without knowing who they are, what they do, and how they can help others.
This need to get them comfortable with the process is one of the more important aspects of building relationships that you can teach to others. If you can get others to accept the premise that these meetings are not for selling, but are for getting acquainted, you have truly helped them move toward relationship building.
Are you going to be successful in all attempts to impart this fact to others? Of course not; there are going to be business persons who will never see the possibility, but some will. Perhaps those who don’t wish to even consider that this opportunity exists are not the people with whom we want to build a relationship. We should still try.
This week, during a discussion of this problem, someone said that he often felt like a therapist. I could not have agreed more. We are therapists, and we need to hear the hopes, dreams, goals, and fears of others if we are to provide the help that we claim to want to give to them. We need to know them before trying to assist them.
Talking out situations with someone is the best approach, and listening is a great tool to employ. After all we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should use them in that proportion, and that is the approach of many great therapists. Don’t try to fix someone before you know what is wrong with them. To do so would be counterproductive to the process.
Being a consultant to others is much like therapy. Learning to listen before we speak may be great therapy for us ourselves. How can you offer your networking partners and business relationships anything else but your best? Would you expect anything less for yourself from them? I don’t think so. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.