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Get Personal, Build Relationships and Have Fun Doing It

Mary Rosenbaum | July 14th, 2010

No one ever wants to be compared with a used car salesman (not that there is anything wrong with being a used car salesman) because it has always been shorthand for someone who is slick, dishonest, shallow, and self-interested. These qualities have never been considered attributes but in today’s world where connecting is an integral part of doing business, this type of behavior would be self defeating. Did you ever consider that you might be coming across differently than you think?

Recently I received a phone call from a stock broker pitching his company’s service. My name was on a prospect list made up of past clients. During our brief conversation he went into a monolog of the products and services his company offered and how I might benefit from them. The one thing he never did was connect with me. He seemed nice enough but I could just as easily have found the information he was giving me on the internet or the company’s website.

I wouldn’t say he came across as slick or dishonest, but he didn’t come across as expert, caring, personal, or unique. Rather than try to start a relationship which requires an investment of time he was focused on SELLING 101.

I know you are probably sitting at your computer reading this and saying “I don’t make cold calls so this doesn’t apply to me”. Have you ever attended a cocktail party, a conference, a networking event, a new client meeting? Do you whip out your business card after a few minutes? How do you break the ice? What do you talk about? Do you connect or do you sell?

Success in business is based on relationships. And relationship building is not only good for business; it’s fun if your intentions are genuine. So have fun and remember to:

1. Be Authentic – People have to like you. You may be selling the best product or service in the world, you may be the smartest person out there. If you don’t get people to connect with you on some level, to like you, you won’t get the business or do the deal or get the job. Be honest about who you are and let your personality show through. Connections are made memorable by sharing your stories, experiences, and passions – in other words, your personality.

2. Be Real – People have to trust you. I want to believe that you “care” about me and what I need and that you are not out to just close the deal or get the job. It’s a simple as Making Friends 101-  be curious and get to know them rather than sell them on you.

3. Be Giving – Generosity of spirit is integral to building relationships and of course, to being liked. Real relationships are not based on a quid pro quo. Give help, provide value without expecting anything in return. “Giving is it’s own reward.”

4. Be Consistent – Don’t change gears on me. I have to trust that if I decide to befriend you or hire you, you will consistently deliver on that promise of value.

5. Take Your Time – Make your goal getting to know them, not closing the deal. And that takes time. Lead times are long if you are building real relationships.

You never know, letting people you might not  consider “friend worthy”  into your life in an authentic way may yield some surprising results.

So let’s get to know each other and form some real relationships. Let me know what you think about this post and if there are topics you would like more information on – shout it out.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum helps careerists and entrepreneurs position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru


Summertime and The Livin’ is Easy

Mary Rosenbaum | July 7th, 2010

Take advantage of the lazy hazy crazy days of summer and bulk up on some new ideas that you can incorporate in your business or career. Although business goes on as usual during these next few months, the slower pace can provide you with ample time to try something new.

Here are some ideas for you to make this summer productive and rewarding:

1. I have found that this is a great time to connect with those people you have always wanted to meet. Since relationship building is the cornerstone to a healthy business and career, this time of year is as good a time as any to extend yourself and grow your professional network. So reach out to thought leaders in your industry, leaders in your company, potential, past, and current clients, and colleagues both inside and outside your company and grow and solidify your universe of contacts.

2. Are there skills you want to master or courses you want to take that will help propel you forward toward your professional goals. Check out your local schools, libraries, and professional organizations for courses and lectures that might interest you.

3. Write an article, give a talk, start a blog – all of these are great ways to demonstrate your area of expertise and spread your personal brand.

4. Now might be a good time to update your resume or bio – it’s always wise to have updated materials ready should the need arise.

5. Summer is also a wonderful time to read some of those great books out there and pick up some new tools to help you with your business, your career, and your life (not to mention great summer beach reads). I am away on vacation this week and have had a chance to actually read some of those books that have piled up on my nightstand. Here is my list of what can make the summer (or winter for those of you who are reading this from somewhere down under) more interesting and productive:

“Drive” by Daniel Pink

“A Whole New Mind” by Daniel Pink

“Go Put Your Strengths to Work” by Marcus Buckingham

“The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell

“Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi

“Different” by Youngme Moon

“Tribes” by Seth Godin

And if you’re looking for something to take you away from all this then do read Stieg Larsson’s trilogy starting with “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”.

Do you have a favorite book? Whether it’s for work or play, please share your books with us. Do you have any other ways that you use this time productively? Let us know.

So enjoy the season, whatever season you are in, and use this time to grow, learn, and expand.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years Mary Rosenbaum helps careerists and entrepreneurs position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow me on Twitter @Careersguru