One of the biggest mistakes any business leader can make is thinking too short term about business relationships — about not investing not enough time and passion in “people”.
All to easily, you can destroy years of momentum with a few poorly burned bridges.
Let’s be frank, relationships are the easiest (and hardest) part of everything that you do. People make your job a lot easier and a whole lot harder –all at the same time.
So it is worth your while to get better at understanding people and the tricky emotions that make them tick. Here are a few life lessons to make that a little bit easier:
1. No one wants to feel used.
Whether it’s a business deal or an ongoing business relationship, you can’t manipulate people and expect them to enjoy spending money (or time) with you.
Stop asking for an appointment or time or value before you establish a relationship. Stop trying to “get yours” before you look the other person in the eye and give them a trusting smile. Selfishness just makes the whole exchange icky.
2. Familiarity breeds contempt.
That’s true for you and for them. It’s always a good idea to change things up. Not because things are broken, but because things will get broken if you don’t change things up.
Stop assuming that your best client will stay that way. Take time to value the people that have been with you the longest. If you don’t, you won’t have much left .
3. You don’t exist if you don’t persist.
Being friendly isn’t enough to build relationships. You have to be ornery enough to go out of your way to build friendships. You’re too busy and your best prospects are too busy to just magically have it happen on its own.
Stop trying to be nice one time. Stop hoping that because you checked in with a client one time that you can have a relationship with a client forever and always. Keep at it. Be awesome all the time.
4. Leave your baggage in the trash can.
Don’t project your life issues on everyone you meet. Stop playing the victim and genuinely care about the well-being of others. It’s not easy to be kind when you feel hurt. It’s hard to trust others when you been deceived yourself.
Don’t fall trap to believing the worst in others. Sometimes it’s all in your head. So forgive others. Forget the bad stuff that happens to you. Look for the bright side. You will attract good people around you. And those people make great customers.
5. Friends don’t grow on trees.
Just like success in every other areas of your life, you have to work hard to build relationships that matter. There is no magic process or email campaign that makes interesting people want to be friends with you. You have to fight with kindness encourage and compassion.
Stop taking relationships lightly. Stop shrugging off those around you as if you can “get more people” all too easily. You can’t. So don’t take your relationships lightly.
It’s been said that your closest relationships are a measure of how successful you will ultimately become. So it matters that you bring the right people close to you.
You’re deciding how high your dreams will soar. Invest in relationships that matter.
Chances are, your future depends on it.