DID YOU KNOW: The average business loses around 20 per cent of its customers annually by failing to attend to customer relationships. That’s the word on the street from Marketing Wizdom.
Having good relationships with people is how you stand out, generate leads and boost your business.
Building and maintaining tight relationships with people is the reason why I have been offered amazing partnerships and get constant referrals and repeat business. Opportunities just come knocking and I put it down to one main thing … my relationship-building skills. I am really good at building rapport with people and then maintaining my relationships with them (most of the time, anyway!). What can I say, I love talking to people and getting to know them.
You know how I edit a magazine called Get it magazine? This is how that came about …
We were in the toilets of a business incubator event in Brisbane when I ran into the publisher of the mag, Leanne, who I had worked with about 10 years prior at the Sun newspaper. She was with her then-editor, Sarah. We air kissed, she introduced me to Sarah, who I knew of but had never met, and we had a Sex-and-the-City-style chin wag, swapped business cards and she told me to stay in touch because they were always looking for good writers. So I did. I wrote one double-page spread for the mag and when Sarah announced to resignation to follow her travel dreams, I was first in line. And the rest is history.
So on that note, here’s how I build and maintain my relationships:
1. Always follow up
Every single time. If someone says email me, email them. If they say let’s catch up when you’re next in town, make arrangements for that to happen. You never know where the opportunity will take you.
2. Be their best friend
A long-lost best friend. But still be authentic and you – no fakes allowed. I like to be friendly with people and share things about myself with them. I find it helps me build a nice rapport and gives us things to talk about, and hopefully, something in common.
3. Ask them how you can help
Often from the conversations you have with people you will hear a problem they are struggling with. Hone in on that and keep your ears open. What can you do to make their life easier? Offer some ideas.
4. Make it easy for them to say yes
Here’s the thing, you’ve followed up and stayed in touch. You have been friendly and shared information. You’ve listened to their problems and asked how you can help. So now give them something they won’t be able to resist. Some more ideas, a free gift, some of your time to teach them something – just make sure it’s completely different to anyone else. Be memorable and create WOW moments.
Once you’ve got the relationship maintain it and look after them. Continue to be your awesome and authentic self. Keep solving their problems and sharing information, send them an email to say “hi and how’s it going?”, tag them in social media posts and catch up for coffee once in a while.