Connecting is the art of building relationships; relationships that last. It’s the forming of bonds with people that can grow into deeper, closer, more meaningful relationships.
Making close connections is essential because people prefer to work and interact those with whom they feel connected. They share common interests, feelings, values, and beliefs. They trust them and want to help them more. Instead of concentrating on closing one-time sales, work to build close, long-term connections that will endure.
Be honest and build trust. Exaggerating and falsifying may help produce quick sales, but over time, they will do you in. Overstating and failing to deliver as promised kills relationships because customers want what they were promised. Few will continue to conduct business with those who have not kept their word. Not delivering precisely as promised is the best way to ruin your reputation and brand.
To create solid connections, follow these suggestions:
- Perfect your art. Deliver top quality. Do what you do excellently, as well as it can be done. “There is no substitute for quality,” T. Harv Eker states. If the quality you provide is outstanding, you don’t have to do lots of networking. People will network for you. They will tell others about you and recommend you. People love to refer others to those who provide the top quality.” It makes them look good.
- Stick to the facts. It’s easy to exaggerate and promise more than you can deliver, but it doesn’t pay. Be honest. Connect with potential customers by telling them the results your goods and services have achieved. Better yet, document the results, put on demonstrations, and show them proof. Provide them with endorsements from satisfied customers; take them to sites to your goods or services in operation with other customers. Then explain to your prospects exactly how you can help them.
- Don’t promise too much — especially if you may not be able deliver. Be completely honest. It’s better to lose a sale and stay on good terms with the prospect than to land the sale and subsequently alienate the customer. If your honesty costs you a deal, think of it this way: the customer may remember your truthfulness and call on you again. However, if you over-inflate or fail to deliver, your future with that prospect will be doomed, over, kaput. Plus, aggrieved customers tend to tell their friends about their dissatisfaction — especially when they feel they were intentionally deceived.
- When you’re looking for business, offer your goods or services at an attractive price. Be fair and don’t gouge; build trust. Give potential customers a price incentive for giving you their business. When you have performed well for them, you can use them showcase to sell future customers. You will also have forged connections with satisfied customers who will give you repeat business and recommend you to others.
Ask satisfied customers to give you endorsements or letters of commendation. Have them write on their letterheads how excellently you performed. Post the commendations on your Web site, hang copies in your office, and keep them in a scrapbook that you can show potential customers. Insert them in your brochures and sales materials.
Remember back in school how different personalities emerged and distinguished themselves. Every school had characters such as the nerd, the rocker, the jock, the babe, and the brain. Yet the one we tend to remember most fondly is the clown.
We all noticed the clown because he made us laugh. He connected with everyone through his humor; by making everything funny. The clown could make the most ordinary situation, the gravest circumstance, and the blandest personality absolutely hysterical. During the darkest moments, his quips broke the tension and lightened the mood. Humor was his focus, his outlook, his forte. His wit was what distinguished him and how he connected.
Great networkers also have special outlook. Like the clown who instinctively looks for humor, networkers are programmed to connect people. Great networkers constantly try to meet new people, learn all about them, and link them so that they can build close, mutually-beneficial relationships.
Distinguish yourself and boost your business by developing a connecting attitude. Be pleasant, friendly, and fun. People like to be with and do business with those they like, not with grouches.
Train yourself to be a connector; develop a connecting frame of mind by constantly thinking in terms of whom you can connect. Here’s how to proceed:
Make two lists:
1. List people you would like to meet.
2. Values and beliefs.
2. List people that you could connect with each other. List what they have in common:
5. Values and beliefs.
3. Create a plan to connect those individuals.
Connecting is addictive. When you make a strong connection it’s so satisfying that you can’t wait to do it again. It’s also rewarding because people are grateful for your efforts on their behalf. Successful connections motivate; they make you focus more on connecting and bringing more people together.
Since connectors are always trying to make matches, they become possibility people. Possibility people explore, try, and make things happen. They push the limits and don’t immediately accept “no” for an answer.
Possibility people stand out because they’re optimistic and more likely to achieve. They also tend to be creative, resourceful, and inspirational. If you want to increase your business referrals, develop a connecting outlook.