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A Big Lesson In Relationship Building

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by David Garland in David's Blog

A Big Lesson In Relationship BuildingI have this friend who is a super nice, genuine guy. And he has a big event coming up that he is selling tickets to. Awesome.

Problem is this: Suddenly, this same friend has become a product pusher. Meaning, he is emailing and calling people he hasn’t talked to in YEARS to ask them to buy tickets. Every other hour it seems he is promoting the event on Facebook.

And look, I get it. Sometimes you gotta push. Nothing wrong with that. We have all done it. Because, honestly, we get excited and heck we need to get other people excited too.

But, a look deeper reveals something important. Your network and relationships matter possibly more than anything in business, both on a micro and macro level. And cultivating them can be the difference between coming off as a trusted resource or a product pusher (and we all want to be in the trust category, right?) especially when the “time comes” for you to push something (a product, book, event, need for a wife or husband…whatever).

Macro relationships are one to many. Online it might be a video, blog post, article, show, email blast, Tweet, Facebook, book, etc. Offline it might a be speech or presentation you give to a group of people.

Micro relationships are one to one. Online it might be a private email, private Facebook message, or Twitter DM. Offline it might be a quick phone call, coffee, or grabbing a cocktail.

If you just focus on the macro level, is it intimate enough? If you just focus on the micro level, will you reach too few?

When you take care of relationships on a micro and macro level, something magical happens. The magic is this. When you need people, they are there for you. Need, of course, has many meanings. It might be you need a kidney (I hope not) or need people to purchase your book, product, event ticket, whatever.

One person who has mastered this (as the knowledge has been passed onto him) is Peter Shankman from . On a macro level, Peter blogs, has funny Facebook and Twitter updates, and of course is the man behind the Help A Reporter emails, which go out several times a day (for free) with reporters looking for sources.

On the micro level, Peter randomly appears periodically via email. He will email me sometimes and just ask how things are going. Not obtrusively, but maybe every 6-7 months. He isn’t pushing anything. He is genuinely interested (and you can’t fake caring…you really can’t).

The funny thing is this. NOW, if Peter emailed me for something he needed, I would be much more likely to help out. Why? Because the relationship is there and hasn’t been forgotten.

Perhaps if my friend stayed in touch a bit more on a micro and macro level with more people, sales would go better.

What are you doing so people don’t forget about you on all levels? Are you helping others? Are you building relationships before you “need them”?

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