Two of my biggest pet peeves are 1- People who waste my time. Contrary to popular belief, time is not money. I can get back lost money, but I can never get back my time. 2- People who expect me to start doing business with them on the first call. Inside, I'm screaming: "I don't know you!!!". Plus, often times, those people have nothing of value to offer in return.
I experienced both of those pet peeves recently, which is why I decided to come to your screen today and share THREE Dos and Don'ts in business relations.
You might wonder: "Emma, what makes you an expert?" I am not! However, I have business relations that have lasted for over ten years and are still going strong. There are my receipts that I do know a thing or two on that matter. Let's get into it.
Do 1 - Offer Value First: Before asking for anything, FIRST think about what value you can bring to the person you are attempting to build a relationship with. Being quick to ask for favors or help without first establishing a relationship will make you come off as salesy and self-serving since you have failed to consider what the other person has to gain as well.
Do 2 - Take the Time to Build a Genuine Connection: Get to know the other person, their work, and their challenges. Stop seeing a dollar sign or opportunity written on their face and learn to see them as you would want someone to see you. Like you, they are human beings who are trying to succeed in this difficult journey called Life. Also be consistent in your presence and genuine in your engagement. Allow those new relations to spend enough time with you to evaluate you. That's part of the dating process for professional relations.
Do 3 - Focus on Quality over Quantity: I know it seems counterintuitive not to establish as many relationships as you can. But in the long run, most of them will turn out to be weak superficial connections, where you could have built meaningful, high-quality ones where value, support, and opportunities are the norm.
Don't 1- Don't Over-Promote Yourself or Your Services: It's always better to overdeliver!!! I love allowing people to put me or my work at a certain level and shock them by overdelivering. If you do that a couple of times, that person can't help but be hooked.
While we're on the topic, don't be overly transactional either by approaching people with that what-can-you-do-for-me-attitude. People don't owe you Jack!!!
Don't 2 - Don't Assume Interest: I was conversing with a new connection the other day (bear in mind this is our first conversation), and that person was sharing all their big dreams with me for their business, but not once did they ask me what were my business goals for 2024? Hmmm!!! And to make matters worse, I didn't care about anything that was being said because they didn't align with my own goals. If they had taken the time to have a real dialogue with me, they would have realized that this conversation was pointless and wouldn't have wasted both of our times.
Don't 3 - Don't Neglect to Follow Up: A "No" or "Not yet" today doesn't mean "Never". When I started my career as a paralegal and was looking for new clients, some people told me "No" because I had no receipts, no established reputation in that field. And since I don't over-promote by making false promises, things were not easy. But guess what? Years later, those same people who told me "No" sought me out, because they have heard that Emma doesn't play games and if she gives you her word, she will keep it. Boom!!! Patience and Consistency paid off!
There you have it. Please do let me know in the comments if you have found value in this article, and share it with someone who might benefit from it. And if you don't mind, share in the comments as well what are some of your dos and don'ts in business relations?
Until next time,
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