The reading level for this article is Expert
You build relationships over time. They are easier to destroy than to build.
Stay in contact by various means. Do more than merely show up at the regular networking meeting. Meet for coffee or lunch once in awhile. Make a phone call, send an email and mail a postcard. Different means of contact makes the relationship stronger and more memorable.
Compliment others. It might be on their presentation, website, recent promotion, service they provided, article about them, award for which they were nominated or challenge they overcame. We are dying for more recognition.
Thank them when they do something for you – either directly or indirectly. Send them a nice thank-you card. It’s both personal and memorable. We seek appreciation.
We like those who are like us. Look for and reinforce the similarities when you talk. It might be hobbies, family, culture, interests, career,&ldots;
Be honest. Yes I know business contact, especially at networking events, often has some posturing and BS. But if you reveal some secret – it makes you real. However, don’t reveal too many of your dark secrets.
When you mess up – apologize. If we liked you we will readily forgive you. And we will like you more because of your apology. Make this a standard practice for all your people.
Display an honest interest in them. The core principle of building relationships is this. We like those who make us feel good about ourselves.
Good relationships take time, effort and consistency.