Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
A Game Plan to Build Relationships
By Dave Block and Victoria Munro
Building strong, trustworthy relationships in your marketplace could determine if you’ll thrive or dive in today’s economy. Assuming that you sell an excellent product or service people want to buy, developing the right relationships is key, but they don’t happen by accident. You need a game plan.
Below Dave shares how he becomes a ‘trusted advisor’ to those he wants to work with. He sees his relationship plan like a football game. And just as a coach crafts a game plan—a strategy for his team to move down the field and win the game—Dave’s plan is to focus on others, keeping in touch with them often. However, you must be sincere—come from the heart. You can’t fake it. People quickly discern insincerity.
Before the kickoff, build your game plan to help you win on the ‘relationship field.’
Clearly define who your ideal clients are:
- Core values they hold
- Type and size of business/industry/profession
- Kind of personalities you like to work with
List what you need to know about these people in order to build strong relationships. For instance:
- What they’re passionate about
- Interests or hobbies they enjoy
- What sort of books, if any, they like to read
- Background, family etc.
- How they prefer to communicate, for example via email, phone, text, etc.
Always remember, your purpose is not to sell, but to focus on the other person and add value to him/her. The result will be a person who wants to buy from you.
The kickoff represents your first meeting with the potential client.
Each first down stands for an opportunity to deepen the relationship via a ‘touch’ of some kind. These touches might include a note, email, call, small thoughtful gift, recommendation, helpful article or website, referral, invitation to a social event, or meeting for coffee, breakfast or lunch.
After the kickoff, your game plan is to let this person know that you genuinely care about him/her, as you move down the field and make a touchdown—gain a loyal, lifelong client, who is also a sales rep, referring others to you. This person now views you as a ‘trusted advisor’ rather than a salesperson.
© 2005-2009 Victoria Munro.
for printable version.
About the Authors: Dave
Block and Victoria Munro are co-founders of Make-it-Fly®
LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small business owners through creatively-designed programs
and tools. Dave is known as the “Master Networker”
in the business community and loves sharing how to become
a successful business owner by learning the art of networking.
Victoria has started and run nine different businesses..
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