How Are You Leveraging Your Relationships?

I spoke to a colleague recently who told me the following story: she sent an email to ten contacts letting them know she was looking to increase her client base. She also explained a little bit about the type of work she was looking for.

From the ten emails sent, she received 4 new client referrals. Not a bad return. And not a bad idea!

How are you leveraging your relationships?

Networking Event

I believe that relationships are vital to achieve business goals. These relationships may be new clients, collaboration partners, support resources or social outlets.

The key is to nurture those relationships on a consistent basis. Then, when the time comes to ask for help, you feel comfortable and confident.

If it’s your business or your career aspiration, take the risk and ask for what you want.

  • Send an email letting folks know you’re looking for new clients.
  • Pick up the phone and ask for the bookkeeping or marketing support you know you need to take you to the next level.
  • Meet for coffee to share ideas, frustrations and get the much needed social support (sometimes you need to take a break from business to think clearly and ignite creativity).
  • Offer to help first. Before you ask for help, spend time offering and giving help.

Earlier this week I reached out to a contact. This person is connected, via LinkedIn, to a company I’d like to talk to. When I asked for the introduction she said yes.

Why did she do that? Because we’ve spent time over the past few years developing a relationship built on trust and friendship. We didn’t meet once, exchange cards and ask for a favor. That’s not how it works.

Who Do You Know?

Most likely you know a lot of people in your personal and professional life. Rather than spend time attending one networking event after the other, how can you leverage the relationships you have?

If you are ready to achieve that next level of success in your career or business (or personal life!) get curious and ask yourself “How can I leverage my relationships”? Then take action. Send an email, pick up the phone, offer to help someone else before you ask for help. Maybe, like the colleague I mentioned above, the result will be four new clients.

Resources

LinkedIn. If there is a company or person you’d like to connect with, use LinkedIn to search through your current contact list. Maybe you know someone who can make an introduction.

Live Networking. Networking groups are abundant. Do a local search to see what comes up in your area. Live south of Boston? Check out the South Shore Women’s Business Network, South Shore Chamber of Commerce or South Shore Young Professionals.

Your Turn

How do you leverage your relationships to increase your influence and impact? What strategies work for you?

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2 Comments:

  • Heal Write Now

    Hi Stacey, This is perfectly timed. I’ve drafted an email, and not hit the send button, because I wasn’t sure I could be different enough to ask people to like my page or send me any links they think might help the people I hope to benefit (as well as myself). This is a good reminder to follow my impulse, be direct and trust that people can and will do (or not do) whatever they think best. Sometimes I feel asking is too direct or an intrusion. I’m trying to shift that thinking. As someone who has a hard time saying no I don’t like to put people in that position. But I’m trying to think of it less as an intrusion and more as an invitation to join or participate, if they wish. Anyhow, THANKS! Cissy

  • Stacey Shipman

    Hi Cissy, Somehow I missed this comment! You mention the word “trust” in your comment. It’s a word I carry with me and think about a lot. It is critical to developing and leveraging relationships. Thanks for sharing your perspective and good luck!

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