We’ve heard this many times, build the relationship first… but how do we go about that?
I was reading a blog from a business leader I follow regularly and she talked about the chicken and the egg adage. You know it – what came first – the chicken or the egg?
This question has been debated by so many over the years.
But she turned it around to mean what comes first in business – relationship building or prospecting? Her answer was both do.
I have a different view. Build the relationship first.
In my business of network marketing/direct sales, I believe that the relationship building comes first before you consider someone as a prospect. And I’m not the only one that believes this.
“Western business people often don’t get the importance of establishing human relationships.” – Daniel Goleman, Author of Emotional Intelligence
Why? Because relationships are the foundation of my business.
I have to establish a connection with that person first, to understand who they are and if I have a solution for them. And also, if I want to do business with them at all.
This is the work that has to be done first in order for me to consider them as a possible client or prospect.
Over the years I have developed relationships with so many people, some who became clients and some who did not.
But I never regretted the time I spent in establishing a relationship with any of them because they expanded my horizons in so many other ways.
They enriched my life and my business.
And I have maintained those relationships. In some cases, they did join me in the business down the road.
You see the most important thing is that in building a relationship, you establish trust, respect and connection.
You are not just treating them as a prospect, which they will see through you very quickly.
You are treating them as someone you value. And that is key.
And when you establish the relationship, understand that you must maintain it and that takes work. You have to reach out and keep in touch, regularly.
Just because they don’t show interest in your business now, does not mean they won’t sometime later. Don’t assume they are not interested. Don’t discard them.
Remember by maintaining the relationship, you will see where they are at in their life and you can relate where you are with your business.
You never know when the time is right for them to need you or your business.
So, what comes first, relationship or prospecting?
Building relationships are the priority for me!
I know that once I have the relationship established, then I can then determine how and when I approach them about collaborating with me in my business offering.