How to Leverage Your Relationships With New Influential People You Meet
In the past 6 months, I’ve met over 150 people, or probably more than that, simply because I traveled to some conferences and workshops where like-minded entrepreneurs gather. At those meetings, I simply meet a lot of people and give away a lot of cards, and I also get my share of cards. The real question here is how you leverage those new folks you meet. How can you turn them into more influential and helpful relationships?
I’ve created some step-by-step guidelines that I’ve used over the past years that have helped me cultivate these relationships. This is what I do when I go to a conference or workshop and how I develop these relationships over time:
- Always ask them what’s their biggest challenge or frustration and really LISTEN to their answer. Make mental notes for later.
- Big key – DON’T solve it for them, just listen and ask questions.
- If they ask for your help, then go down that road, but don’t give them too much, and don’t overwhelm them.
- If they ask for your card, give it to them, but don’t offer it unless they ask.
- Get to know them – ask them a personal question about what they’re passionate about or what they love most to do in the world, etc. These are terrific questions to get to them more on a personal level to connect with them.
- When you get home follow up with them immediately. Depending upon the conversation and opportunity I do a few things. Send them an email right away, then I add them to my newsletter list and mail them my latest newsletter with a personal note from me. This ONE strategy has helped me bring in thousands of dollars. Believe it or not, ALMOST NO ONE snail mails a follow-up with a person they met. Direct mail is king in this department, so use it to your advantage.
- Add them to your snail mail list or email list and continue to follow up with them over time.
Just remember that every time you meet someone new, it’s an opportunity to lay the foundation for a successful business relationship. You never know how this relationship will unfold or how you can help each other. In my experience, the sky is the limit. This is how I ended up getting Jeff Walker and Yanik Silver as clients as well as joining each of their exclusive Mastermind groups because I developed a relationship with them over time… (See photo of Yanik and me at his mastermind.)
Plus this is how I was able to speak at Dan Kennedy’s AWAI Business of Copywriting Course this past May. He gets my newsletter every month, plus I fax him about once every other week and he faxes me back. (Yes, that’s the only way he communicates, but it works for him.) In fact, he gave me a great book suggestion to improve my copywriting that I’d also highly recommend to you – The Untold Story by Iain Calder. It’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the National Enquirer changed the course of journalism.
So the main takeaway of my article is this: A lot of times, those relationships if nurtured over time, will become very fruitful indeed and mean the difference between success and failure. So connect with people as much as you can. As Dan always says, don’t let a day go by without doing at least ONE thing to connect with a potential prospect or client.
Listening is key to building a relationship. Many people however, do not understand how to truly effectively listen to someone. Learning the skills you talk about are absolutely crucial. Great post.