Writing this blog post tonight is the final task on my to-do list before launching this brand new website and officially opening the doors of Co-Creative Consulting, LLC for business. Like so many others who have gone before me, getting to this launch was fraught with inescapably long hours of planning, sleepless nights, second guessing and nervousness. It has also been filled with excitement, joy, and recognition of the endless possibilities that lie before me and this company. Mostly, at this very moment, what I feel is an immense sense of Gratitude. This feeling of Gratitude is inspired by the many people who have loved me, befriended me, believed in me, supported me, mentored me, took their time to teach me new skills, provided me unbelievable opportunities and yes, had some tough conversations with me when I needed it. The list is long but I know that there will be some who, when reading this for the first time, will understand that they are included in the "many". To you, I say Thank You from the bottom, top, sides and the very depths of my heart!
On our "About" page I acknowlege the importance of relationships and I would be remiss if I didn't mention that again in this, my first blog post. From very early on in my career I understood that relationships were the secret ingredient in business success and I recognize clearly that relationships are the reason that I am where I am today.
If you want to succeed in your business, your focus should be on how to create genuine relationships with your clients and potential clients. It takes time and effort. It will definitely take more than sending an impersonal invite on LinkedIn, more than touching elbows at a networking event and yes, more than making blind, self-serving cold sales calls.
Building a caring relationship with your business contacts means that you have to actually CARE about who they are as people as well as the challenges they are facing in their business. You will need to take the time to intently listen during a sales meeting or call and to consistently follow-up not just on the business at hand but the person that you are calling on. The key to building powerful relationships is to be your genuine self and remember that business is not business, business is people.
Keith Ferrazzi, who has been called the greatest networker in the world and is the author of “Never Eat Alone,” defines networking as “sharing my knowledge and resources, time and energy, friends and associates, and empathy and compassion in a continual effort to provide value to others, while coincidentally increasing my own.” In other words, you should be seeing how you can help other people achieve their full potential. It’s not about what you can get from others, it’s about how much you can give to them. It’s not about asking “How can you help me?” It’s about the great scene in Jerry McGuire, where Tom Cruise is on his hands and knees, repeatedly asking a simple question, “How can I help you? Help me help you!” Relationships are built on trust. You gain trust by helping others, not by asking what they can do for you. Over time, I guarantee that your generosity will come back to you - but don’t keep score.
In the end, it will be your relationships that determine the job offers you get, the consulting contracts you will win, and the business opportunities you will be presented with.
Get started building those relationships today, and if you need some assistance in this area, please don't hesitate to call us to set up a free consultation, it would be our honor to discuss how we might serve you and/or your business endeavors.
I look forward to serving the business community for many years to come and to the relationships, both new and old, that will be built and nurtured through this business.
In Love and Deep Gratitude-