By Terry Bean.
Perhaps you've heard the phrase "All things being equal, people will do business with people they know, like and trust". This was popularized by a good friend, tremendous author on referrals and communications and all around great guy, Bob Burg.
I liked his point so much that I did my best to simplify it into 5 easy words:
ALL business is relationship business.
If we can agree with that statement and that Bob's statement is the foundation for good relationships, then we must agree that it is important to get known, liked and trusted FAST.
To support that, I offer you these three ideas:
1. Ask for an introduction from someone who knows both you and the party you're looking to meet/impress. The more credibility they have with the other party, the better. I know you're thinking, "How do I know who they know"? Put your social media detective hat on and go take a look. LinkedIn and Facebook both do an excellent job of showing "mutual connections". Search those lists and see who you know in common. Can't find anyone? Then take a look at LinkedIn and see who else works at the same location and do the same search. As different as our circles of influence may be, there is often some overlap.
2. Leverage endorsements or recommendations. These are even better if they are from people who both parties know or at least have heard of. One of my favorite phrases is "If I stand here telling you how great I am, it's a sales pitch. If someone else does it, especially a friend of yours...it's the truth". Again, we can turn to social media to get recommendations, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google, Yelp all have really strong recommendation or endorsement engines.
- Step 1 in getting them is you have to earn them. Do great work.
- Step 2 in getting them may involve actually asking for them. Make sure it's easy for people to say great things about the great things you do. Want to kick it up a notch, try and get these on video.
3. Find common ground. This approach works really well and can do so quickly especially if you don’t have the other two in place. You find common ground most easily by asking questions about shared experiences. There is a bit of a balance between being an interested person and an interrogator so be ready to walk that line. Nobody likes to play 20 questions unless there’s a million dollar prize at stake. Some of the questions that will help you get started center around where people grew up, went to high school and college. Whether or not they are married, have kids and what sports they and their kids play. What they like to consume in terms of books, music, movies, TV or even food. You see all of these are shared experiences and can lead to people or places you know in common.
Ultimately people like people who they perceive are like them. Using these tips can help with that perception. And hopefully, get that investment you seek ;-)
Terry Bean has a passion for helping others succeed. He has put this passion to good use, offering his consulting services and relationship marketing knowledge to hundreds of businesses and individuals across the U.S.A. Check out his passions for business. http://trybean.com