We have discussed building relationships and how that can lead to more successful businesses. We have discussed how business networking partners will be there when we need advice, role models, and referrals that will lead to additional, and better, business. These partners will help us by guiding us through the difficulties of the business world, giving us someone to rely on when times are frustrating.
When we look to build a networking partnership we should look for others with whom we feel an honest and open relationship. We must have partners that we trust, being able to share information, and never keeping score as to who has helped whom, or when. Remember, like a personal relationship, it is all about helping others, not swapping one-for-one gestures of help. It is a partnership, not a competition. We must never feel as if our partners are tearing us down, but we should believe that they are building us up.
Our networking partners can be anyone with whom we feel comfortable. If we feel comfortable we share our referrals, support, and honesty with no hesitation. Our trust is imperative and must be earned through the introductory steps of getting to know each other. Both partners must be willing to be totally honest with each other, and understand that the help and advice we receive is meant to be constructive, not destructive.
One of the ultimate aspects of trust is the sharing of referrals. They represent our reputation, and that of our business. If we trust someone with our referrals, we probably trust them with our business. But what if we don’t need what someone else has to offer? Then the referrals that we pass to others represent the bulk of our business relationship with them. Remember it is a partnership, and partners share with each other, and they never keep score.
Honesty is something that must be paramount in our relationships in business. We must be honest in our offering, or not offering, referrals. We must be honest in our advice and suggestions to someone else. We should never offer advice when we really do not believe that it is needed or appropriate. Remember that honesty is the best policy and dishonesty will be found out every time. Sometimes honesty means that we cannot refer someone to another partner because it just would not be a good fit.
It has been said that our networking partners will give us advice before we ask for it. Our partners will give us referrals when they meet someone that may be right for us to meet, whether as a prospect or another networking partner. Partners are proactive and don’t wait for others to ask for help. We should never regret the opportunity that we do not pursue. As our marketing tells us, just take action and don’t bemoan the lost opportunity later.
Who are our networking partners? Do they have our best interests at heart, or do they keep score when offering referrals or advice or other types of support? Appreciation Marketing means that we all look for partners with whom we can form bonds of mutual trust and support. Both partners have a part to play, and partnerships mean both parties participate. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.