I love small businesses but my people…….my people…..we have got to learn customer service. It’s one of the downfalls of our businesses. I bought from 15 businesses during black Friday and out of the 15…..6 of them had horrible customer service. I don’t know if it’s the way we speak to people as if someone owes us something, I don’t know if it’s because we weren’t taught how to build relationships, maybe it’s just that we don’t care about customer service as much as we care about our product or services that we are selling. Not everyone is a talkative entrepreneur in fact a lot of us are introverts. We don’t like people but we love our business and we are damn good at it. I myself can be an introverted person although I do get out and work the crowds. I am in the middle! I however don’t let my shyness (yes I am shy *side eye) stop me from building a relationship with people. We can’t build only when we want something you need to build all the time. So how do you build a business relationship with people? Glad you asked……..
First listen….When someone comes to me to do a logo I listen to them. I listen to their why and I write down some information that helps me form the logo. For example I did a logo the other day for a client who is starting a business selling tea. She kept saying that tea was a part of her roots a part of who she was. I listened…..I then created a logo that represented a tea bag with roots coming out of it. I listened to her tell her story and took key points form that to create something that was special for her. As a blogger you have the opportunity to listen also. You can listen to others to see what they are searching for online and develop a post to go with that. I was in the line the other day and a lady and her son were talking about hot chocolate and who had the best one……hmmmm that gave me an idea to develop a hot chocolate post.
Secondly observe……I am observer. I observe the entire room before I make any moves. I like to sit in a corner and scale the room with my eyes first, then listen. Facebook groups are where people like to observe. I admit I am in a few where I don’t talk or speak but I observe the behavior for a while. I see who does the most talking in the group, then I see who offers the most advice, then I see who always asks for things. I can observe the folks who I can take seriously and the ones who are bullshatting through. I am in a group now where people ask for things first without peeping the scene first. Seek to understand and observe with the intent to learn and grow.
Third and the most important thing of all….you want to KNOW who you are helping to succeed in life. It’s not just about the money …at least not for me…it’s about helping someone grow their business so that they in return can help someone else grow. One hand washes the other so that we can all grow to make money because there is enough for us all. Why do I take pictures and give people a lot of pictures for a cheap price? Because I want the business to succeed. I want them to know that it’s not all about the money it’s about making sure they have what they need in a variety of ways. I build my relationships by getting to KNOW people first.
Here are some real tips for you
- Tell people your name and talk about something other than your business when networking. Don’t just go for the business speech…talk about who you are and offer something besides your business.
- Don’t beg people to take your business card or to collaborate with you. Here is the truth….if someone wants to work with me in any capacity they will follow me on social media and engage with me via that first then go into what we can do for each other. Every one of my relationships started after we communicated via a blog comment, instagram comment, a like on a FB page or saying something meaningful in a group on Facebook
- Don’t brag….humble yourself.
- Don’t hang with popular folks and think that you are popular too……yes you took a picture with a big blogger…so what did they throw you a bone, did they help you get to where they are. Many of them don’t so taking a picture with them and showing off to others to try and make yourself seem bigger than what you are won’t work…..
- If you have a business have a blog. I did it backwards…I had a blog first then built my business but these days I tell people to have a business then build a blog. Blogging helps build that relationship because you can comment on bloggers you want to work with. This builds relationships….same with commenting no their instagram pages or tweeting them on twitter
- Share people you like to other people. If I like something on FB I tag the person that I shared it from so that they can see it
As a blogger we are always wanting to pitch pitch pitch but we forget that brands want to see who we are first. Follow the company that you want to work with, buy a product or service from them without asking for something. It can be a small item nothing huge. Take a picture of the item and stick it on your FB page or your Instagram and tag them. Sometimes it pays off sometimes it doesn’t but if it’s a brand that you love you will buy from them anyway….why not build a relationship first by getting their attention. I did this with several brands that I have worked for and it has payed off!
Take a cue from your hair dresser…..they offer us a service and they talk to us as real people while doing our hair and taking our money. That is essentially how you need to build your business relationship with people. Talk to them as if their family, treat them like you value their opinion, and respect their time. The way to making money is to make sure our clients are happy and that they are comfortable with us. We need to fall in love with people that we serve!