I’ve found through the years that developing authentic relationships with others through networking, connecting and relationship building has been one of the best ways to empower my business and expand the possibilities for my business and life.
I can’t begin to list the countless times through the years when i’ve chosen to say hello to the person sitting next to me waiting for a flight, assist someone on a busy street, engage with folks at the grocery store, on the bus or train to find that common thread weaving through our lives and that guiding force that brings us together in perfect timing.. some have become friends, some have become business contacts and clients, and others i’ve referred to my friends or business associates to develop mutually beneficial relationships.
The magic that happens when I open up and connect with others is incredible. Building community and networking is something that is inherent in my being. Much to my daughters dismay at times, I can’t help but reach out and connect with others!
Now, I realize not everyone has the networking, connecting & community building energy pulsing through their veins like this social butterfly. So what can you do to open up and expand your network, community and possibilities in your daily life? Here are a few simple tips:
-Allow yourself to be visible in the world. When you feel that inner urge to say hello to someone or that inner fear saying ‘what if they reject me or I get tongue tied and don’t know what to say?!’ s-t-r-e-t-c-h beyond your comfort zone and DO IT! You just never know what goodness & possibilities are on the other side of that first ‘hello’
-Let go of the need to be ‘salesy’ and bring your authentic self to the conversation. Many business leads i’ve received through the years have come to me through connections that started out as casual relationships. On the flip side many people i’ve met networking at conferences and events became friendly acquaintances before any business deals were done or referrals given
-Reach out and follow up! If you’ve been referred to someone by a friend or business associate reach out to them. Same goes when you’ve met someone that you felt a connection with at a conference, trade show, on a bus or plane. If you’ve called or emailed 1 or 2x’s and they don’t respond, put a note in your calendar with their contact information, a reminder about who connected you and why or where you met and follow up again in 7-10 days
-Ask for a business card, email or phone number to stay in touch. When I connect with someone on the fly that I feel synergy with I usually ask them for some form of contact information so that we can stay in touch. I’ve got contacts I stay in touch with via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, my business CRM system or all of the above
-When you find yourself traveling to a city where someone lives that you’ve met virtually via social media, LinkedIn or an email introduction, reach out to them to connect in person. There is nothing like a face to face meeting to deepen a relationship with another human being, expand your community and empower your network
-Take note of birthdays or other special days in someones life that you are working on developing a relationship with. A handwritten birthday note or thank you goes a long way to deepening a relationship when done from an authentic place
There is so much more I can write about this subject. I will definitely be contribution more blog posts on this valuable and important topic.
I’d love to know what networking, connecting an relationship building tools you are using. What is working for you? What magic has occurred when you’ve s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d beyond your comfort zone and reached out to someone new?
Thank you for checking in and reading the iFlourish blog. I look forward to reading and responding to your comments!