Always focus on creating friendships first, and develop business deals later.
I never seek out relationships with people on a business level.
That’s lame if you ask me.
And this is the mistake so many make.
They reach out to someone and instantly think about how that person can benefit them professionally or in their business.
Get over yourself already. You make me want to puke when you do that.
Now I’m not perfect and I know there have been times where I’ve met someone and wanted to know down the line if there was ever potential for us to work together.
But, I’m never discontinuing them as a friend or useful business contact even if I don’t see any potential for us to do business in the near future.
- You never know who they know, and how powerful their network could be for you
- Helping others always trumps asking for help first. The law of reciprocity is always on your side
- I’m a Midwestern boy and believe in the Golden Rule, plus it’s just good manners
I’ve been blessed to build a 7 figure business, launch new companies, do over 400 webinars with affiliate partners, speak at over 100 live events, launch new products, consult for major companies, and work on a number of other fun business projects… all because I’ve become friends on a personal level with these influencers and decision makers. (I’ll stop bragging now, I promise)
If I would have gone into these relationships by thinking “how can you help me grow my business” instead of thinking “wow, you are a cool person… let’s be friends” then probably more than half of these deals would never have happened.
Build Friendships First and Business Later
Alright. So what are the keys to building friendships first and not focusing on how that person can make you money?
Here are a few things I always focus on when I introduce myself to someone new (both in person and online).
1. Ask Questions
There’s nothing more people love than to talk about themselves, and their success. Ask about what their passions are, what they like to do for fun, and about their life outside of business. Asking questions shows you are interested in them and that you aren’t not a selfish prick.
2. Be Genuine
Be interested in what they have to say, don’t just nod and act interested as people see right through that. Julia Allison, someone I recently met, is amazing at this skill. She asks interesting questions, smiles a lot, makes others laugh, and makes every person feel like her friend. Make sure you are genuine.
3. Make Connections on the Spot
When I get around to learning about what type of business someone is in, I instantly think about 2-3 people who would be a perfect connection for them. I often call that person right on the spot and make a quick intro on the phone, then follow up with an email intro that day with others they should connect with.
4. Use Eye Contact
This is a big one. I recently met a well known marketer who has made millions online. However, when in conversation with someone I was good friends with he wouldn’t look him in the eyes. He only looked around the room as to see “who else should I connect with that can help me out?“. This shocked me and I felt it was extremely rude and embarrassing.
Eye contact can make or break a relationship (both friend and business related). When listening to others, always focus on their eyes (with a calm smile of course) as this will encourage them to be more open and welcoming to you. Read my good friend Michael Ellsberg’s book The Power of Eye Contact also, there are some great nuggets of info in there!
5. Continue the Follow Up
You aren’t a real friend with someone unless you stay connected. Otherwise you are just an acquaintance of someone you met one time. Make sure to follow up with them by connecting in person, via the phone, email, and through social networks. The more you continue to interact with that new friend, the stronger the friendship becomes and more potential opportunities will come from it.
Here’s to Friendships
Friends are everything to me. Business relationships are great, but they are even better when you’ve created a friendship first.
If you are looking to gain more influence or build your business then these are just a few principles I’d follow when meeting new people.
What are some best practices you have when you meet people? Are you trying to think about ways they can help you… or do you focus on them first, and building a personal connection? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section below and feel free to share this with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.