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19 In How To/ Startup Life

How to Connect & Engage People You Want Relationships With

Building solid relationships for your small business. | Imperfect Concepts

So the other day while I was in the store, I noticed that more and more banks are becoming “financial centers” and less of traditional banks. Meaning, you are losing personal interaction with people. This made me very sad. I have an amazing relationship with all the bankers, financial planners, and tellers at my local bank. Then it made me think, how can you learn to connect and engage people you want to have relationships with, if we are moving towards a higher technological world with minimal to no in-person contact.

Be The Person You Want To Connect With

This might sound very cliché, but it’s true. People always tell me that I’m really good at connecting with others, simply because of who I am as a person. I am a natural-born listener, problem solver, giver, and a take action person. We can all agree that, if you’re reading this site you most likely are wanting to be successful in your own venture. Being successful requires a multitude of things from you. Being focused, determined, smart, and skilled are all essential. If I am wanting to grow my business I need to grow my knowledge, not just in my specific industry but other areas that my future peers are focused on. Desire and strive to be a better person all around. A successful business owner is focused. You need to be focused, too. Their look is polished and yours should be the same.

Create A List Of Your Dream Dinner Party Attendees

We have all seen the graphic or been asked the question who would you invite, dead or alive, to your dinner party. You only have 10 seats including yours. My list would include:

  1. God
  2. Steve Jobs
  3. George Lucas
  4. Sergey Brin
  5. Sara Blakely
  6. Melinda Gates
  7. Elon Musk
  8. Sir Richard Branson
  9. Katrice Mines

These are the people I would want to dine with collectively or individually. Katrice happens to be my friend in real life. Every time I leave her presence I feel more energized and filled with knowledge. We can discuss God, politics, education, social media, business, clothing, and more in under an hour. If you could only see our conversations.

Instead, I want you to create a list of 10 people who are alive that you want to connect, engage, and build a relationship with. Yes, you can put Oprah on your list. It is truly possible to meet and connect with Oprah. A couple of years ago, while I was still running my online boutique, I was living in Atlanta by a Carol’s Daughter store. I thought it would be great to meet Lisa Price and talk business with her. A couple of months later I did. Not only did she become a loyal shopper of my store, she is my mentor.

Fostering great relationships with others to help you grow your business. | Imperfect Concepts

 

Separate Your List

Divide your list into separate categories. One will have the individuals that know of you and are more likely to connect quicker, and the other will consist of those you need to establish relationships with. We are going to work on the ones you have existing relationships first.

These existing relationships don’t have to be super deep; they can be social media followers. It is important that the person knows of you and you can connect with them. Create a list of all the attributes you like about said people. Then out of those characteristics, highlight the ones you have in common to them. Are you both really into the vegetarian lifestyle? Lisa and I share this commonality. I still eat meat, but I do love eating vegetarian meals. Are they really into sports, do they love to travel, or do you share a favorite book? For awhile on Twitter, you could see me and several other top business owners talking about our love for books. Get your foot in the door. Become acquainted with these people and their lives. Find something simple to connect on and build from there. Anyone who has ever sent me a Starbucks, Target, or Nordstrom gift card I know by name. As well as, the products they have purchased from me. I tend to remember people who give me recommendations on juice or coffee spots.

Non-Existing Relationships

For some people it’s hard to create new relationships and for others its easy. Depending on the level of the person you want to connect with, depends if it’s plausible. Two Christmas’ ago, I sent Sara Blakely a gift card that told her Starbuck was on me. She wrote me back, through email and thanked me.

How was I able to connect with Sara quickly outside of sending that gift? I used The Power of 10 Networking to make sure I knew what I needed before connecting with her. Too many times research is not properly done or we don’t know a person enough before we say, “hey I want to work with them” expecting to have an amazing relationship.

Connecting and engaging with people you want relationships with is a lot easier when you create a game plan that allows you to know more about them personally. You will be able to have common ground to stand on when reaching out. Start small by engaging on social media and their website. Trust it will take some time but it will be worth it. Finally, always respect their boundaries. This is extremely important.

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