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There's Diamonds In Your Backyard! - Part 2
By Trina Newby
Getting your share of diamonds"); (business relationships.) Letís get started!

Know how to build a solid business relationship
Just passing out your business card wonít do! After receiving contact information be the first to call the individual for a second introduction. Ask for a meeting over coffee or lunch to learn more about how you can help each other. This is the first powerful step in creating a relationship that could turn successful for both parties, because you will have each otherís undivided attention without the distraction of others. What more can you ask for? Itís the perfect situation. Now, all you have to do is to nurture the relationship and learn how you can help the other person. This will take time and many conversations with them.

After the first meeting send a thank you letter along with some suggestions on how you can help each other. Be aware that they might not need your services or products right away, but thatís okay because you are in this for the long haul right?

Next, make sure you have a way to keep in front of your contacts. This could be in the way of an e-newsletter, monthly mail out or just by giving them a call monthly or bi-monthly. Also remember to index them properly in your Rolodex or contact management system. This way you can refer new and existing contacts to them as the need arises.

Be there early
Make it a habit to be on time to your networking and one-on-one meetings. Being early has so many advantages. Arriving late for a one-on-one meeting can give the wrong impression and if youíre meeting with someone who is a stickler for time Ė youíve messed up!

Be willing to give
Three important steps in building a solid business relationship is 1) to show a genuine interest in the other personís business 2) be willing to listen and 3) be willing to give as much as you receive.

A one-ended relationship will give you a one-ended result! If your only reason for developing a relationship with someone is to get business from them or always receive referrals Ė you still donít understand what a business relationship is!

If you meet someone and youíre not impressed or have a good feeling about what they do or if it conflicts with your values Ė donít push the relationship! Itís not worth the business if you go against your values.

If you decide that this person is someone that you would be interested in developing a relationship with then you must


 

be willing to give that person referrals, make suggestions and even shown concern about the well-being of their business. From time to time you might even want to send them newspaper or magazine clippings, or email articles that might be of interest to them.

Follow-up and Trust
ďSay what you mean and mean what you sayĒ. If you have made a promise to provide information, a proposal, referral or other resources, P-L-E-A-S-E do so! Not doing so can cause a lack of trust and set you back in developing the relationship.

Great conversation and excitement while networking can cause you to talk about a new company service or product or promise a resource before itís ready to be given. In other words, many business owners have a habit of ďputting the cart before the horseĒ and promising information or resources that are not yet ready or available to them and then they forget what they promised. This is bad business. If necessary, bite your tongue before you make promises you canít fill.

Commit to developing at least 3 new relationships per week
Itís difficult to determine how many new relationships to develop weekly, however, you must have a measuring tool or else you wonít achieve your goals. If you go to at least one networking event per week, youíll have plenty of people to talk to and to discover whether or not they are compatible with you.

Find your diamonds!
Remember, it takes time to build trust and develop a true and real business relationship. Donít rush it and most of all donít think you have to go far to do it.

Now, go back through your Rolodex or contact database, look at the business cards laying around in your office, go back through your local community papers, look at the phone calls or emails you forget to respond to and youíll find your Diamonds"); - I bet youíre richer than you think!

About the Author
Trina Newby is President and Founder of Women About Biz, a powerful and effective membership-based network for Businesswomen. Let us show you how to grow your business at http://www.womenaboutbiz.com.
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This page was updated on Nov 2009 and is Copyright © 2003 by Global Com Consulting Inc.