The idea of creating true business relationships not just acquaintances can be a challenge. “Why would
someone want to connect with me unless I had something to offer them?” And the easiest thing to offer anyone is money- let me buy your service.
Besides the fact that you will quickly go broke, buying everyone else's service or product also sets up a negative professional relationship standard. For you will always be the client and they will always be the expert. And though they may show interest in what you do. Transitioning the relationship to one where you are the expert is hard to do.
How do you begin to have true business relationships that respect each other’s time - aka no “Want to go get coffee?” - as well as saves your bank account. Invoke the middle school you.
Remember back to your middle school years and you were just beginning to figure out this how do I talk to people I “like.” Most of us were less than suave back then, and we would end up saying things like “I like you.” No game, yes, but clear intentions all the way.
Let’s say you meet someone at a networking event or see their profile online. Why not send them a message saying:
“Hi (insert name),
It was so great meeting you at the XYZ function on Tuesday.
By getting to know your business, I realize that (insert why you want to make the connection).
I would love for us to get to know each other a bit
better and hopefully be of service to each other in the future.
If you would like to schedule 10 minutes or so to jump on the phone or Zoom for virtual coffee, I would love to see how we could grow this professional relationship.”
Most people say “Yes” to such an email and from there you will know if you like this person. And if you do, here is the thing, you have to stay in touch with them if you want this to turn into a relationship. So invite them to events or share with them resources that they might like. You can schedule such things or let it be organic. The choice is yours.
But no matter what you do, choose to build the relationships. Choose to prioritize one of the greatest resources your business has- relationships.