Steve Bolton, founder of Platinum Property Partners, understands the importance of using good relationships to grow your business. He offers some guidance so you can do the same.
The legendary Jim Rohn concluded that we are likely to become, in terms of wealth, health, and happiness, the average of the five people with whom we spend the most time. We are subconsciously influenced in many ways by those closest to us.
My interpretation of this study is that to be a success, you should surround yourself with the right people. It can therefore be very enlightening to consider the five people that you spend most of your time with and ask if they are helping or hindering you professionally.
It’s all too easy to tell your friends and family about new ventures or ideas, but you might like to think about the type of advice you get. This is why it’s important to actively seek out success by identifying some key people whose achievements, lifestyle and approach you admire, and of course, who can help you progress in your line of work by giving objective advice and criticism.
So how do you build such strong relationships with people who will aid your success?
Establish who, what, when and where
Just like you need a financial plan for your business, you need a people plan too. To be a success you have to continuously surround yourself with a powerful team of people who have the same values as you and from whom you can learn. Not only do you need to determine how they can help you, but also how you might be able to help them.
If possible, try to meet face-to-face, and regularly. It’s better to get a true feel for someone if you physically meet.
If the people who inspire you are public figures, then read the books they have written and those they recommend; watch inspirational and motivational DVDs and go to carefully selected courses and seminars.
Find out what they respond to
An important aspect to forging strong relationships is Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Techniques such as pacing and leading enable you to effectively establish a rapport with someone.
Pacing is simply mirroring the verbal and non-verbal language of the person you are communicating with to strengthen the relationship. By identifying whether they are a visual, auditory or kinesthetic person, you can adapt your communication style to match theirs. Emulating someone’s physical actions or phrasing often makes them feel reassured that you understand them and can connect with them.
The next step is leading. This is when you try and create influence and lead towards win-win outcomes.
Have an abundance mentality
When people feel there isn’t enough to go around, they play their cards very close to their chest in the mistaken belief that they’ll have the advantage. But when you help others get what they want, you’ll often find it is reciprocated.
Successful people, in the holistic sense, tend to be fundamentally positive, optimistic, giving and dedicated. This is not to say that you should be naive. Have your eyes open, but also be broad-minded and respect and value diversity.
Legendary motivational speaker and international salesman Zig Ziglar famously said that, “When you choose to be pleasant and positive in the way you treat others, you have also chosen, in most cases, how you are going to be treated by others.” Building strong relationships and working with integrity is key to building any lasting and successful business. The fact is that people do business with people they like and trust.
Remember, there’s a huge difference between having sharp negotiation tactics and treading over people to get where you want to be. You need to be ethical in your dealings, to know where to draw the line, and, most importantly, not to cross it. Don’t ask people to compromise their integrity by asking them to do things that fall into a ‘grey area’.
Keep your word
If you say you’re going to be somewhere or you’re going to do something, be true to your word. If you have a valid reason for reneging, be honest about it. If you want to succeed in business, you must actively work to build good relationships, simply because ‘people buy people’.
If you want more information on this topic, I highly recommend Dr Thomas J. Stanley’s The Millionaire Mind, which looks at how America’s financial elite have become so successful.
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