There are still some sales folks around who will explosion vomit their solutions all over their potential customers followed by asking all but immediately for more business. You are exposed to this at networking events, connection requests on LinkedIn, casual meetings, etc. Sales people whom you just met are trying to immediately sell you stuff. Wow. Good luck with that approach. If I do not know you, I do not trust you – yet. Customers want to buy, but they do not want to be sold to. This is all about relationship building.
Patience and competency are needed in copious amounts in order for you to be offered an open ear. In the worst case scenario you will get a firm maybe, and in the best case you will be invited back. Deliver on your promises and here are three pointers leading you down the correct, or at least, better path to establish a trusting relationship.
- Willingness to give before asking for anything. Honestly, do you really think that asking for favors the first time you meet someone will get you anywhere? You may luck out guilt tripping someone into giving you something, but is that sustainable in the long run? Approaching anyone with an open heart, soul, and your intellect / mind and making sure that you are willing to give your talents away helping someone else is the best way to start your networking process.
- Invest your time smartly – but please make sure that you do spend time with your newfound friend. Only when you get to spend some significant quality time together will you really get to appreciate new folks and old alike. When people see and get to experience first-hand that you are the real deal you make a deeper connection that is trust based. That is the essence of relationship building.
- Make sure you are genuine and sincere. Be genuinely compassionate with everybody. Compassion means that you are suffering with someone else. That is what it is all about. When you care enough to stop noticing what the real issue is that someone has, only then will you be able creating a much more genuine relationship. Listening and truly understanding where someone is coming from is essential for applying the correct technology / method to solving issues.
If you have to ask, ask for perhaps another connection within your client’s company. Your contacts owe you nothing, certainly not respect or their time. Earn their attention and trust by working hard connecting them with new people, ideas, concepts, products, and services.