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How to Create Real-ationships – Really Fast

Business Relationships

Have you ever met someone that instantly made you feel comfortable?  You felt that you had known them forever?  Maybe, you run into them from time to time and they always have a kind word to say.  Perhaps, they remember the little things about you that many people don’t.

This is not a coincidence – or a “trick” or a falsehood.  These people genuinely care about their fellow man, and take the time to “listen” carefully.  They also have a system in place to file those “nuggets” of data and remember them next time they are with you.

President Bill Clinton began this process when in high school and he attributes it to the reason he became President of the United States from 1993 – 2001.  He ran the most powerful country in the world for 8 years by leveraging his relationships.

So, how can YOU do this?

First you have to really want to.  If you are “too busy” and don’t really care about your fellow man in that way – please don’ try to fake it.  You are likely NOT in an industry that requires you to have that trait.  There are plenty of people on the planet that DO like to converse and relate to others.  If you are not one of them – please find a role where you do not have inter personal relationships.  We will all be much happier if you do.

Now that we got that out of the way – let’s concentrate on those of you whom do converse with others for your revenue.  How can we easily, and quickly get to know someone, and remember the little things when needed?

When getting to know someone, I use an acronym of F.R.O.G. (this is hilarious because I vehemently dislike actual frogs).  It stands for Family, Recreation, Occupation and Goals.  These are the areas that I usually cover when I take a face to face meeting in order to get to know someone.  This should be comfortable surroundings, and easy going to listen well.

FAMILY – this is an easy ice breaker area that shows you really want to know about their life.

  • “So, do you have kids?”  “What are they into these days? – let them talk about each one and if they resist come back to them to show how much you care about what they care about.”
  • “Are you planning any upcoming vacations?”
  • “How long have you and your spouse been married?  What’s your secret to success?”
  • If they don’t have kids yet – “How did you meet your spouse?”

RECREATION – the goal here is to find some common ground and learn ways to meet them outside of work.  Be careful NOT to talk about your own likes here – just listen and maybe add a few lines about you.

  • “What do you like to do when you are not doing (insert occupation)?”
  • “How long have you been doing (insert hobby or sport)?”
  • “What do you like the best about it?”
  • “How often do you get to do?”  This usually uncovers a “a pain point” you can help solve next time you get together to talk business – you can be doing their fav recreation.

OCCUPATION – this is a very cool area.  You likely know what industry they are in – that’s why you asked to get this 1-1 time with them.  So, be sure to know a little something about the “newest” thing in their field.  Be careful NOT to talk about your business, your product, and your shiny new “solve problem thingy” here – you are simply getting to know them – THAT’s IT!

  • “What made you get into (insert industry)?”
  • “What do you like about it?”
  • “What did you do before this?” “For how long?” “How did that job help this one?”
  • “If you could do anything in the world, what would you love to be doing for a career?”
  • “What’s the next step in this career?” “How do you plan to get there?”
  • “What can I do to help?”  (This is the magic question that leads to a natural G- GOALS talk)

GOALS– This is where they will begin to tell you what they need, BUT you will NOT solve it for them at this time.  You will think about it and get back to them if there is anything you can do.  If you try to show them your product or service – you just wasted both of your time.  NEVER mash up a MEETING and a PRESENTATION.  It’s just downright rude.

  • “What keeps you up at night?” – sometimes this is not work related – listen and learn
  • “At work, what are you biggest challenges?”  “How well do you and your boss relate?”
  • “If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about (insert job) what would it be?”

Whatever the answer is to this question – and they will need to think about it – let them – the answer is what YOU want to solve for them next.  Maybe, you know someone that specializes in that field, if not find someone.  Maybe, you read a book, attended a seminar, read an article – something you can give them AFTER your meeting to help relieve that pain point.  THAT IS YOUR GOAL!

Then, after you share that solution with them ALWAYS!!!!! Follow up a few days later to see how it went.  You may be surprised they didn’t do anything with the solutions you offered – that’s ok, give them a little more time and follow up again.  These are reasons to be in touch and when you do this and DO NOT talk about your product or service – they will go out of their way to refer you and use you when they need to.  GUARANTEED!

So, you finished your meeting and you have all these little nuggets of information:

  • Kids names, ages and what they are into (Soccer, Baseball, etc)
  • Spouses name and when their anniversary is
  • What they like to do for fun (read, upcoming vacation date and location)
  • What their goals are for the future
  • What you can do to “connect them” to a better way.

Place all of this information IMMEDIATELY into your database as a NOTE and if date sensitive – such as vacation and anniversary – set a trace in your calendar to remind yourself to “say something” about that when it comes up.  You don’t have to send a card – or make a big deal about it – just remembering and saying, “Hey, how was your trip? Or “Happy 34th Wedding Anniversary” is HUGE!!!!!

Will this take some work?  Yes!  Is it worth it?  A wise person wants said, “The Fortune Is IN the Follow UP”.  I think it’s also in the little things.  Iconnectu is proof of it!