Everyone needs friends with benefits! And I mean that in the sense that to be successful you must build a strong network of like minded people and businesses that share your vision, values, passions, and enthusiasm.
Surrounding yourself with people who support your growth and dreams is essential to achieving your goals. These are the people who will cheer you on, keep you motivated and inspired. They will be the ones to turn to when you need advice and help.
Building deep and meaningful relationships with people will push you to do better and keep moving towards your goals. But how do you start cultivating these partnerships?
With my background as a national athlete, TV personality, and business consultant, I have decades worth of experience in managing professional relationships with all kinds of people from different industries. I want to share with you how I nurtured these relationships to both enhance my personal life and grow my business.
You don’t have to be a people-person or a social butterfly to turn acquaintances and industry leaders into clients, partners, and mentors. All you need is the right strategies, attitude, and social skills to communicate your value in the relationship that will benefit all parties.
Find the Right People with the Same Values and Goals
Similar to personal friendships, not every meeting is going to end up as lifelong relationships. There is more to professional connections than just handing out your business card at every function or sending a request via LinkedIn.
Professional relationships need to have strong foundations that go beyond a transactional nature. Of course, there is nothing wrong about pursuing certain people because it will be good for business. But if you want to create a thriving business that people will love, appreciate, and trust, you will have to make sure that the individuals involved in your business share the same belief system and aspirations as you.
Before you decide to bring someone in as a client or partner, discuss your personal views on everything –their passions and fears, what gets them up in the morning and what excites them, short-term goals vs long-term goals, and leadership styles. You can’t start a professional relationship with someone that will disagree with you on every level! The most profitable relationships (in terms of energy and finances) are the ones built on common values and visions.
Let Them See How Valuable You Are
Sometimes it can be difficult to convince people to work with you. If you were a potential client, you’d want to be certain that you won’t be wasting limited resources. The same goes for business opportunities. People need to see you as a valuable investment.
Don’t just highlight your career achievements and significant milestones. Of course, it’s important to tell them about your plans and projects, credentials, and other technical skills you have accumulated over your career. But don’t forget to also pitch your creativity, your energy, innovation, inspiration, and visions. Demonstrate how your personal brand, business success, and leadership skills can also benefit them.
But then, a lot of people have very similar skills and laurels right? So why should they choose you over everybody else?
Because you’re offering them something more! There is more to you than these visible accomplishments. Your personal brand is the one thing that is going to set you apart!
Your carefully crafted personal brand is something that will be analyzed in the sea of other industry experts. Whether it’s your communication style, fashion sense, strategic approach, or conflict resolution techniques, your brand will tell your story as a professional.
Aim for a Lifelong Brand Partnership
Powerful brand partnerships are created when like-minded professionals come together and work seamlessly. It’s a complementary relationship. Think Yin and Yang, sun and moon. There is balance and harmony in your partnership.
You don’t necessarily have to agree on everything but you want to understand each other’s perspectives and find a compromise. The best professional relationships nurture trust, loyalty, respect, and valuable extended brand associations. These relationships last you beyond a contract. Regardless of what stage in your career you’re in, they are present and reliable.
The relationships follow you for most of your professional life, offering massive brand value to you and your organization.
Make Your Relationships a Priority
Professional relationships aren’t just a “set and forget” thing. You have to be willing to spend time and effort nurturing the partnership. Don’t just check in when you need something from the other party! Similar to personal relationships, it’s important to deepen the relationship with genuine concern and interest.
Be available to inspire, motivate, share, and engage without expecting anything in return. The partnership was formed so that both parties can benefit from the guidance, support, services, and advice. Uphold your end of the deal and go the distance!
The last thing you want is for them to believe you’re only making contact when you need something or require assistance with a problem! You wouldn’t want to be treated that way either, right?
Looking to Build Your Business Network? Let Me Help You Achieve Your Professional Goals and Career Milestones!
I want to help you become an empowered and confident businesswoman and industry leader. I’ll teach you everything I have learned over the years as an athlete, TV personality, business coach and image consultant.
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