4 basics aspects of business connections

Newsletter 3

Don’t wait until your business is dead to start connecting. If you want to build a solid business, you must go out and make connections today.

As you know, the aim of this newsletter is to help us strengthen our skills to become a great connector, because business connections involve making links not only with potential customers but also with other people who might recommend you or mention your name in a positive way to their acquaintances. It also involves connecting with people who provide information or training and can be a great way to locate trusted suppliers to hire for your own business.

In the following article, I will provide 4 basics for making effective business connections. Let’s say they are the foundations for building this newsletter.

GIVE FIRST. ASK LATER

While many people associate connections with asking for favours, successful connectors know that networking is not just about them. When you meet someone who may become a valuable connection, think about how you can help that person before you ask for a favour. Even if the contact is very successful, they still have needs, wants and concerns: you can always add value to someone else’s life, regardless of their success.

But this does not mean that it is time for you to become an altruist. Always remember (but don’t advertise!) that you are looking for a business connection and not a partner to play poker or go to a bar in the evening.

«You don’t want to be the nicest poor guy on the side of the street«.

Business connection is about building relationships of trust and friendship with other professionals, so you will find that the best connectors are often those who help others by recommending clients, providing testimonials or helping to promote events and other businesses in some way.

SPEAK LESS. LISTEN MORE

As we saw in the last article: «Connections aren’t about talking, they’re about listening». Focus on what others tell you and show that you listen to them by asking questions about what is important to them.

STRENGTHEN TRUST IN YOU

Trust in you is at the heart of every connecting relationship, because a lack of trust leads us to look to the other when it comes to doing business, or making sense of what’s going on at work.

But what exactly is trust? Although the bond can be created in a single meeting, trust is the result of many small actions over time, of commitments made and kept. Therefore, we must keep in mind that there are different levels and types of trust for different people and situations.

So we must explore different ways to expand our ability to give and receive trust. It’s a two-way street, and because you need people to trust, you must not appear stuffy.

As we have seen, it is not possible to connect with others without trust, because trust is the basis of connection. So how can you instil trust in the new connections you make?

First, and most importantly, people often judge by actions, which don’t have to be visible gestures… for example, they look at how you treat others or what you say about people. Therefore, let your actions show that you are authentic, transparent, consistent and even VULNERABLE.

Of course, there are many things you can do to gain trust with others: give credit, acknowledge contributions, empower others to act, or follow through on what you say you will do.

DON’T FORGET TO FOLLOW UP

Connecting is only half the battle; you also have to take steps to maintain the relationship. Great relationships are built through regular connections and absolute integrity.

People who are always at the forefront of business development achieve success. Business connections without maintaining this connection itself are doomed from the very beginning.

To achieve this, you need a foolproof follow-up program to add value to the people in your network. This creates a rich record of all the «touches» that contribute to making relationships go viral, and will help you add even more value later on as you connect with people in your network. There are enough reasons to remind them of yourself: holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, and just a good mood.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

We have reached the end of the article. Of course, you may be thinking that there are many more basic aspects of business connections to consider… and you’re right, but we’ll look at them in future articles in this newsletter.

For now, just remember that creating a business that works is easy if you don’t ignore that all business is about emotions and feelings, so business connection without personal contact is worthless.

*** BEFORE YOU GO

Quote of the Week: “Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you”.- Aldous Huxley

The above article is a weekly summary of my thoughts on my work as a connector that is ready for leaders around the world.

You can also enjoy the Let’s Connect Live where I interview business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians and inspirational thinkers.

Jose Raul Vaquero is President of the documentalistas.org Foundation and Founder of clubimpulso.net which connects more than 100,000 professionals from 24 countries. For this work, he has been recognized by several governments and organizations. Finally, he’s also the Founder of the Young Politicians of the Americas community.