In his blog, Chris talks about how in order to achieve your goals and dreams as an entrepreneur, “…you’re going to need to enlist the help of others to get it.” He goes on to list five ways of developing fruitful relationship; have a long term mind-set, spend time developing yourself, give out more than you receive, talk to people as people (not stats/open-rate/subscribers) and finally, be intentional with your actions. Now, all of this is great stuff but as a business owner, how do you find the right people to do this with? Here are my three tips that will help you in that discovery process…
Look in the right places
You may find your true love in a bar but let’s be realistic; you are not going to find your biggest investor there. Scope out the skills sets you need in your business relationships and match those to locations/events/social spaces in which those ‘kinds of people’ will hang out.
Some of the best connections I have made have been born out of two things. Firstly, get introductions. Leverage the people you’re already working with and get them to introduce you to the people they have connections to. The likelihood is that you will know someone who knows someone who has the skills and expertise your after. The bonus with this method too is that you can be pretty sure your contacts recommendations will be fairly good quality – not many people recommend something bad!
Secondly, love LinkedIn. Many people don’t use this to its full potential and it’s a fantastic online network connecting people from all sorts of business and backgrounds. Head to ‘My Network’ and scroll through ‘People You may Know’ and just spend ten minutes seeing and adding those people who spark your interest. Pop them an informal message and take it from there.
Honesty, in my opinion, is one of the most admirable qualities when doing business. No one likes a liar.
When you’ve been introduced or connected with someone who could potentially help your business, be upfront about who you are, where your business is at and where you want it to be. Don’t over-inflate figures or your CV. Equally, be truthful about your dreams, ambitions and goals for your company.
A good business relationship will only form if you both start on an even keel with the same information so endeavour to be honest, even if things don’t sound as good as you’d like them to be.
Don’t take the first wave
This was a phrase that I learnt off my Dad (despite me defying everything he said as a teenager, he was actually quite right – although, I hope he’s not reading this as I’m not ready to admit that to him yet). It basically means that the first opportunity that comes up isn’t always the best one. Sometimes, waiting a little longer can prove the better move. Use your commerciality and sound judgement to decided whether your new connection will develop into that beneficial business relationship your after. At the end of the day, good relationships require work, is this person worth the investment?
Hopefully these three tips have given you some food for thought as to how to move forward finding those people and forming those relationships that will help your business seize it’s opportunity.
Do you have any other tips that you can share with us though? Drop us a comment below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.