By Dr. Sinclair N. Grey III
Being an entrepreneur is more than selling products and/or providing services. It’s more than having an attractive website and great looking apps. As a matter of fact, being an entrepreneur is more than making money.
What makes great entrepreneurs stand out from good entrepreneurs are relationships. That’s right; great entrepreneurs build relationships with their customers and/or clients. They value them as a part of their business. Opinions, feedback, and constructive criticism are important to the entrepreneur who wants to be great because it’s through their relationship with their customers that they get better. Think about it for a moment – those who want to be great will do what’s necessary to keep those they serve happy and satisfied.
Building relationships can be difficult for many entrepreneurs because they are so excited about what they offer that they forget to build relationships with the people they wish to serve. Here’s something you need to know – building relationships aren’t are done continuously.
As a business networker, I truly enjoy meeting people. Through meeting new people, I’m able to learn from other entrepreneurs as well as share information that will help them succeed in business. Let me tell you this – whenever you meet new people within the business realm, you don’t always have to sell your product or service. Everyone won’t need what you have to offer. If you can be a resource for people, you have done more for them than you can ever imagine. Remember this – you help people that you know, like, and trust.
Here are some ways you can build great relationships in business:
1. Find out about the person without trying to sell them. Every time you schedule a one-on-one with a new prospect you meet, you will want to learn about them as a person. What are their likes and dislikes? Inquire about their family. By asking these questions (sincerely), you're letting them know you care about them as a person and not someone you can sell to.
2. Ask how you can help them. You will be surprised to know that a whole lot of people have no answer to this question. Why? Because they haven’t thought about it. Too many entrepreneurs are one-sided (sale, sale, and sale). When you break down the barriers of sale, sale, and sale, you discover that people have issues and challenges just like you. If you can help them, it goes a long way of them remembering you.
3. Don’t judge. Too many times, entrepreneurs will judge someone based on what they do for a living. It’s not what they do for a living that really matters, it’s who they know that will help you. Again, don’t expect people to refer business to you, if they don’t know who you are as a person.
4. Follow Up. I can’t stress this enough. If you refuse to follow up, then you won’t succeed. Following up tells the other person, I’m interested in knowing more about you. Always remain professional.
Building great relationships does take work. It won’t happen overnight. You’re going to have to get over any fears and doubts. Most of all, stop making excuses as to why it can’t happen. The poem Excuses says,“Excuses are tools of the incompetent which create monuments of nothingness. Those who specialize in them are seldom good in anything.”