Have you ever met someone at a networking event that you felt really good about? You had great rapport and seemed to really understand each other. You saw the similarities in your businesses and how you could collaborate with each other in some awesome way.
You both seemed to be on the same page, and you were really looking forward to discussing things further. Then a month goes by and you find their business card in your car, only to remember that you never reached out to them. Or even worse, you exchange a few emails and calls only to fall off in maybe a few weeks?
No matter what stage your business is in, there’s always a priority to grow. How can I get more clients or sell more products? Is always THE major question.
If you are like me, then you consider establishing business relationships one of of your pillars to success. It will be pretty tough to get to the level you want without connecting with other like-minded people.
But how do you do this when everyone is so busy?! How do you keep those initial connections going so that you can continue to grow your network?
3 Ways to Keep Business Relationships Strong
It’s easy with the hustle and bustle of running a business to become a recluse. I know i’m guilty of doing this. I get so focused on creating content, changing my branding and working on technical things that I forget about making those connections and keeping them going.
I have been making more of an effort to keep the connections I make with people in good standing and I’ve come across some things that have really helped me. If you are struggling with this like I am, maybe these tips will help you!
Make People Your Business
I know this sounds cliche, but it’s really REALLY true. I think a lot of people starting out make the mistake of beginning a conversation telling people what you do and how well you do it. What your title is, how many trophies you’ve won, etc etc….people don’t care about that.
Sure, you may get a ‘wow’ out of someone for your accolades, but that’s not really what people want to know about you. What they really want to know is what you can do for them or their clients. When you go to networking events, instead of starting off your introduction with your title and accolades, tell people how you help your clients. That will probably make people more interested in you overall.
It’s also more memorable to think about how someone can help you versus what they’ve achieved. So when you reach out to them after that initial meeting, it’s more likely they will actually remember you and you won’t be lost in the shuffle.
“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work”- Robert Kiyosaki
I have a goal to follow up with anyone that shows interest in working with me. I’m actually really good at that, I will even try to connect via email multiple times. I would definitely suggest this to you if you are trying to keep your connections strong. But I have to say in my experience, there is a technique to doing this so that you do not come across spammy that I would like to suggest.
I see people give advice saying that a great way to connect is to add people to your newsletter, this way you can keep people up to date with what you are doing. I do not think this is a bad idea, but there are a few things to consider. First obvious thing, the person may not want to be on your newsletter.
Typically, newsletters are used to update people that opted in for that information. Just putting someone on your newsletter that you met once or maybe twice doesn’t seem like the most effective move. It may be easier for you, because you don’t have to craft and email specifically for them..but I think when you trying to create a genuine connection with someone, that is the better way to go.
Instead of throwing them on your newsletter, shoot them an email you specifically crafted for them. Here is where the tricky part comes in. There is a fine line between selling yourself and trying to build a relationship. If you make people your business as I mentioned earlier, then your goal should be to create a real connection. I think the best way to do this is to focus on them. Don’t talk about you, what you are doing, your accolades, etc etc.
Instead, give a brief description of your name and how you met, then ask them what they are working on. Even further, if you are hoping to work with this person in the future, come up with an idea that you think they may be interested in and include that in your follow up email. I think this will create a stronger connection and a better response than just opting in the person into your newsletter.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a networking event and handed out my card, only to get 10-15 emails the following Monday of people’s NEWSLETTERS! I generally unsubscribe right away, because I did not ask for that. Isn’t it a little strange to say, “Hey, you probably want to know what i’m doing, here you go!”
Now, as far as the frequency of emails. I will leave that up to you. I would suggest quality over quantity when it comes to emails.
Connect on Social Media
Of course there has to be a social media strategy here! Almost anyone that is trying to grow their business has some sort of social media (hopefully). In order to connect with people, talk to them on social media! Engage in their posts, more often than not they will come over to your social media and engage back. There are tons of success stories of people connecting online and turning that into a strong business relationship! This is also a great way to drum up buzz on your own social media accounts. The idea here is to keep showing up in their life, the more times they see you the more likely they will remember you and you will stay in the front of their mind.
It’s tricky sometimes to keep business connections going after you have made that initial connection. Hopefully these tips will help you as you go out there and meet new people!
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What are some tips you can offer to create genuine connections with other people?
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