We all have friends or relationships that we have not contacted recently. We may know what is happening in their lives, or we may not; it does not matter. We must make an effort to renew our relationships before it is too late, before anything might happen that prevents us from speaking with the partner in question.
Gratitude Marketing means that we establish relationships with others. These may be business people, family, friends, prospects, customers, or clients. The best way to do this is to meet them one-on-one and get to know them. We should learn their story of how they reached this point in their lives, both personally and professionally.
We should not assume that this meeting is the only one with this person. It may take us several meetings to decide if we know, like, and trust the other person. If a business relationship develops, then we will have accomplished one of our goals. If not, maybe a networking relationship can be what we gain. Either way, we are better than we started. Have we helped make someone’s life better for these efforts?
Our networking partners and the relationships with them deserve our continued efforts to maintain the relationships, the friendships, and the mutual support. We must nurture these relationships and continue to develop them. People change and so do situations. We should keep current with our partners. If we do not, how can we know what they may need or what introductions will help them?
What happens if we lose track of one of our partners? Who do we know who may assist us in locating them? Perhaps they have changed their business, or maybe they have relocated out of the area. Are they still the same person we knew, and can we still refer business to them? Are they even in a position to answer our referrals if we make them? If they are not, we may lose face for the failed referral.
If the loss of contact is our fault, how long do we have before it is too late to attempt to resume the relationship? That may depend on the person with whom we are attempting to rebuild a partnership. However, a good rule of thumb is that it never too late to say that we are sorry for losing contact and for attempting to reestablish contact. Sometimes eating a little crow may help us regain a friend. Make the effort and see what results.
Nurturing relationships must be a fulltime endeavor. With customers, marketing never stops with the sale because there is always someone out there talking in our customer’s ear, telling them how much better business would be with them. We must maintain our contact and support our relationships as if we were growing a crop. We will lose some customers or relationships, but we will develop and maintain many more.
Gratitude Marketing means many things to us. It means developing and appreciating our relationships no matter the basis for them. It means that it is never too late for saying that we are sorry, and it means being true to our word in what we say. It also means doing the “right thing” when we do business, no matter what results. Don’t wait to develop relationships and don’t delay their maintenance.