Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Nothing compares to the power of trust

In 'Building trust with a new contact' I wrote about the first two steps in building a trusted business relationship in a networking context - make contact and follow up.

The four steps are:
1. Make contact
2. Follow up
3. Form relationships
4. Develop Advocates

Following on from that post my friend Frank Kanu emailed me to offer his article, 'Nothing compares to the power of trust'.

As Frank states in the article,

"There is nothing magical about trust and relationships—as long as one follows some simple rules".

The rules that Frank outlines in the article (available at this link) support the findings of our own research into the importance of developing trust in business relationships as part of networking.

Assuming you are still positive after the follow up stage you are ready for the 'Form Relationship' stage. By now you would probably be prepared to make a ‘qualified referral’ where you connect the person to another with the proviso that you have limited experience of their capability. As you get feedback you build further trust in them & their capability. The tactics you need to employ to form relationships as highlighted by our research into this stage include:

1. Making qualified referrals
1. Introducing to high value suppliers
2. Actively looking for potential clients/customers for them
3. Providing a testimonial
4. Arranging a business meeting to introduce 2 of your contacts to each other
5. Introducing them to a trusted contact at a networking event

As before you are being proactive and giving more trust as the the relationship develops.

If things progress well during this stage you are well on the way to the final stage, 'Develop Advocates'.

Good Networking
Dave Clarke
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