Relationship building is the key to all success in the modern economy. Networking and relationship building go hand-in-hand. You network to meet people -- and then you build critical relationships with them. You figure out how you can help them. You share and build a true, trusted business "friendship" and go from there. An opportunity to do business with them may or may not arise quickly. And the opportunity may not be a direct one. They may simply know of someone who could use your services.
So, how do you build proper relationships?
- Ask for his/her business card
- Ask questions about his/her business
- Most importantly listen
- Suggest a coffee or lunch meeting
- Follow-up -- Heidi Sloss who wrote Fortune is in the Follow-up is nodding, "yes"
- Go the coffee or lunch meeting BUT don't have an agenda per se
- Go as a great friend and spend time getting to know the person
- See what you can do to help his/her business
- Once again follow-up and send referrals and see what you can do for them
Over time, when you go into a business relationship not with the mentality of what can I get out of it, but rather what can I GIVE to it, you will end up both giving and getting. Isn't that a marvelous win-win.