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24 2013

3 Secrets (and specific tactics) to Building Better Relationships

Syndicated from: Networking for Results Blog

Just about everyone agrees that networking is only the first step in building a relationship. But when you ask how that actually happens, the response get fuzzy. Have you ever really thought about how relationships evolve? There are three main characteristics that influence how quickly, how well and how strongly a relationship develops. In general, the frequency of your contact will drive how quickly a relationship develops, the quality of your communication will normally dictate the quality of the relationship and the content of your character will determine the strength of the relationship. Let’s have a closer look at each characteristic: I-Frequency of contact. When you were in high school and another student was in most of your classes, you got to know her/him fairly quickly. This fact has repeated itself in every relationship you have. When you meet more often, you both have the opportunity to learn more about one another. This stimulates trust and accelerates the relationship process. Review these contact strategies to impact relationships.  Focus on the process. Use natural points of contact such as conferences or association meetings to stimulate follow up opportunities or create follow up contacts by offering specific value or benefits to others. Use a structure. A core group of clients and colleagues offer the majority of potential. Use a simple structure to keep you informed. Know when to contact these important people and keep the relationship process moving forward.  Be pro-active. We all lead busy lives. Too often the busy-ness of life causes us to lose control of an important relationship. Give these high-value people priority and take the initiative to stay in contact.  Build trust. Trust is the single most powerful characteristic in the relationship process. It should never be taken for granted. Continually seek to reinforce and build trust levels with your most important relationships.  II-Quality of communication. Communication has a powerful impact on relationships. People perceive everything we do as either being for or against them. What we ask, say and do demonstrates to others who we really are. We often take conversations with colleagues and clients for granted, without realizing the untapped potential of their comments and questions. Check out these proven communication strategies:  Become a better listener. This is an area where every one of us can improve. Become a student of listening. Use the rule that you have two ears and one mouth and seek to listen twice as much as you speak. Effective listeners listen 80% of the time and speak 20%. Ask better questions. Questions demonstrate interest, supply information, direct conversation and are a key to discovering additional opportunities. You can tell the quality of a professional by the quality of her/his questions Effective communication. Preparing for a conversation with a high-value colleague or client includes previewing the information or actions that will benefit us. These people want to help us and the clearer we make our communication, the easier it is for them. III- Content of character. The single most powerful characteristic of every relationship is trust. We buy people first, ideas second and things last, in that order. Positioning every-thing we ask, say and do in the context of this important fact will have a tremendous impact on the strength of our high-value relationships. Invest in the character strategies below to help create, build and maintain trust with key relationships.  Accelerate their trust level. Demonstrate your willingness to help them by discovering ways to be helpful or supplying value. Introduce them to colleagues or offer them opportunities through your contacts. Participate in the process of moving qualified prospects to satisfied clients. By acting in a pro-active fashion and becoming a valuable resource to help them achieve more success, you will demonstrate that you care about them. Contribute to their professional or personal success. There is nothing that makes us feel better than knowing that someone wants to help us achieve some objective. Find out what is important to them, and then does something concrete to help it happen. P.S.: Want more info on building better relationships? Email me at and I’ll send you a complimentary copy of my Marketing and The Power Personal Contact Executive Overview.  

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