Contributed by guest blogger Chuck Kocher, Certified Diamond Master Coach, ActionCoach
Remember those days when business folks sealed deals through a handshake, and it was all about who you knew? Yes, those were the good old days, and I’d like to tell you that they’re still here!
Even in today’s technology-driven, global business environment—where we’re more prone to catch up with our buddies or business partners via Twitter and Facebook—a wise business strategy is to build a network of close relationships to generate sales referrals and ultimately revenue for your company. I would estimate that 70 percent of my business is developed through my key strategic partners: people with whom I have developed strong personal and professional ties, who then provide warm referrals to people they know.
Another way to put this is to create a strategy around creating mutually beneficial relationships to drive your business—and theirs. Here are a few key tips to get you started:
– Tip 1: Make this a priority in your business life. Schedule 4 to 5 strategic partner meetings every week to build upon relationships and develop revenue channels.
– Tip 2: Take your time and be a giver. Don’t go into the first meeting making it all about you and what you need. Learn more about your potential partner, what their business needs are, and ways in which you can assist.
– Tip 3: Set the table. In meeting number 2 or 3, let your partner know that a mutually productive business partnership is a goal of yours.
– Tip 4: Give again. Once a partnership has been established, give referrals to him or her as often as possible.
– Tip 5: Build upon your network. Now that the groundwork for exchange has been completed, ask for the names of your partner’s trusted advisors and then go about making those people or firms a part of your network.
– Tip 6: Perform well. Once your strategic partner has referred you to one of their advisors, perform well so that your strategic partner has confidence to provide you with more opportunities.
In short, it’s important to think foremost about the people around you and the networks you want to develop to generate revenue and opportunities for your business. Yes, social media and advertising are important tools for business generation—but so is building strategic partners.
For more information on action coach Chuck Kocher, CLICK HERE.