Six Myths about Building Relationships

“The follow-up” is the simplest form of business. You meet someone, you get their contact info, and then you contact them later. Yet, most people don’t follow-up. Here are six myths about building relationships.

  1. They will be responsive when I call needing/wanting something. They won’t. You will seem like someone who abuses relationships, even if you don’t. You will seem like you don’t care about them as a person, or about their company. You will be ignored or brushed off.
  2. I will have time later. Later usually doesn’t come. You will be busy later, just like you’re busy today.
  3. They will remember me. Will they? Do you remember everyone you meet? Probably not.
  4. They care about what I have to say and what I think. Maybe they don’t. You’re assuming that your ideas and thoughts matter to them, or that you will have something to give to them. You should give a favor before you ask for one. You are always paying it forward or paying it back–in some form or another.
  5. Building relationships are easy. Building relationships is actually difficult work–it takes energy, time and trust. It’s so easy to get in touch with someone now–after all you can Google them–that people won’t trust you unless you prove that you are trustworthy.
  6. Other people remember to follow-up. Do people remember to follow-up on your project? Chance has it that you care about it more than anyone. So I’m betting that people don’t remember to follow-up on your priorities, because they’re not their priorities. It’s your responsibility and obligation to do so. Everyone is as busy as you. Do you remember everything without reminders? I don’t. That’s why I have an iPhone and calendar reminders for just about everything.

This is why I build relationships early. I make it a priority to give before I ask to receive. It’s a Christ-like value. You reap what you sow. People love doing favors for great people. It’s easy, fun and rewarding to help someone you respect. Try investing in someone with your time and energy–you always have that to give. Be generous. It works in marriage, it works in friendships, it works in business.

How do you build relationships with people? What system do you use to remind yourself to follow-up with someone?

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