Gratitude Marketing teaches us that we should pass referrals to our networking partners if possible. Does our responsibility stop there; is passing referrals the only contribution we make? Of course not; there are many ways we can support our partners; referrals are just one facet of the partnership.
Our networking partnerships must be comfortable for all parties. They must be true partnerships where all parties trust each other, being assured that their feelings, thoughts, and spoken words will be honored and kept in confidence if desired. Utmost care must be taken where each partner knows that openness will be fostered and respected.
Construct relationships based on trust and honesty. The partners may ask advice of the each other and should expect that their request will be honored. The response must be straight forward and attempt to best answer the request for help. We must not give the requester the answer that only flatters; we must provide our best advice.
In other words a networking relationship requires that all partners “check their egos at the door”. They must get honest and supportive responses to requests for help, not empty words that will not “ruffle feathers”. Responses may be what the requestor does not want to hear.
If someone comes to us with an idea about their marketing, they have honored us with their request. We should consider their idea as if it was our own. Look at it from every angle and consider it as if it was our plan and our company needs it to further our prosperity.
Does the plan make sense; does it honor the marketplace and further the excellent reputation of the company? Does the plan consider the benefit of the customer and have integrity? Does the plan reflect appreciation of all? Would we place our name and that of our company on the plan? Do not fail to give the decision making the full attention that the relationship requires.
Then we must make our partner aware of all our feelings about the plan and how we arrived at our decision. Be honest, even if it might be easier to not be. Define the steps that we followed to arrive at our advice and discuss how we feel about the question.
If we and our partner agree about our suggestions, perhaps our partner just wanted reinforcement. If we do not agree, then explain our thought process and discuss the differences. If we discuss the disagreement and cannot resolve the differences, then agree to disagree and move on. We have done what we should have done, to the best of our ability and cannot do more.
If there a possibility that your relationship may be strained or damaged, then it wasn’t very strong to begin with; it may not have been founded on honesty and trust and may not foster the growth of the same. A true networking relationship is one where the parties can say anything to each other and what they say will be delivered and received with honesty, trust, and care for each other.
Gratitude Marketing helps us take our partnerships to the higher levels. Networking relationships are the basis for our network of advisors whom we can ask anything at any time getting honest, truthful responses in return. We may not like the conversation or may be uncomfortable, but we will find that our relationships have become better and more personal. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.