The Key to Creating Valuable Relationships

Recently I was reminded of the importance in giving to receive. Naturally we tend to have an expectation of others to give to us without first considering how we can be of service to them. When we go about our daily routines, we expect to receive things like great customer service in a restaurant even though we’re on our cell phones, never making eye contact. Or perhaps landing a new account, while never uttering the words “what do you need?”; being too focused on what we want to get from a prospect.

Think about the people in your life within your closest circle; some very dear to your heart. They have, in one form or another proven deserving of your time and support.  Whether it’s through a display of affection, love, advice, finances or encouragement, they have impacted or influenced your life somehow, creating a lasting impression causing you to remain committed to maintaining your relationship with them.

While it’s easy to describe the things we value; the challenge is to find out how to create value for others. The solution may be easier than you think.

Creating value is personal.

There’s a saying: “It’s not personal, its business.” Every time I hear it, I think of my all time favorite movie, You’ve Got Mail where the remarkable Meg Ryan says to Tom Hanks, “……what’s so wrong with being personal anyway? Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin with being personal.” I couldn’t agree more.

Our jobs, our friends, our families, hobbies and interests are all personal. Before we interact with others, we must try to consider these things. Creating a personal connection plays a vital role in laying the foundation for valuable relationships to form.Person examines value

Here are some key ways to creating valuable relationships with others.

Make it Personal. Try to find a common area you are passionate about when meeting new people. Being able to relate to someone on a personal level can remove any added pressure or nervousness in making new contacts. Doing this will leave a lasting impression. People will always remember how you made them feel.

Be honest. A relationship built on dishonesty will not last. People do business with those they can trust. Likability isn’t everything. See The Honest Model.

Be reliable. Strive to be the person others can count on to come through in a time of need. Possessing this trait will prove to be an invaluable asset. You will create a closer bond leading to exposure and opportunity for you personally and professionally.

Be consistent. Consistency is key in developing trust. Unpredictable behavior does not provide the safety and security people need when committing to a relationship.

Value can only be determined by the receiver. What is valuable to you, may not be valuable to someone else. The key is to find out what others value and become a resource or provider for that.

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Why Honesty in Business Equals Success Part 1

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Most people work under the assumption that doing business requires one to be “cut throat”, harsh or selfish. When we think of business, we don’t think of nice people doing great things. We think of competition, getting more customers, more profits and more growth; being honest just doesn’t fit into the category. Often honesty is considered a weakness or vulnerability in business. I once heard someone say the key to being a good business man: “never admit to anything”. Now what kind of way is that to do business?

I’ve learned the best way to diffuse a conflict is to apologize for the error; even if it wasn’t your fault directly. It’s simply not possible to remedy a problem if you fail to acknowledge it exists! Apologizing is not admitting you did anything wrong. Apologizing is saying you value your relationship with the customer more than your ego. Believe it or not, most people are actually open to forgiving if you simply acknowledge making a mistake, ask for their forgiveness and try to mend the fault.

Imagine how much time and money we would save if we just apologized for an error? Instead, most business people take it personal; as though a mistake is a personal defeat rather viewing a mistake as an opportunity to turn weaknesses into strengths. Honesty builds trust which creates a loyal relationship between you and your customer. Returning customers and client referrals are what keep a business afloat. In the midst of managing conflict, remember this: You are not just securing a relationship with one person, you are securing a relationship with them and the five other people they will potentially send your way depending on how you handle their problem.

Bottom line – people do business with those they can trust. If you can’t acknowledge your error, then consider the relationship broken. We can’t change the past, but what we can do is commit to being honest about it and move on.

“I don’t want you to be perfect, I want you to be honest.”Mary V. Davids

Mary V. DaviMDD-160ds is Principal Consultant at D&M Consulting Services, LLC., and creator of the Honest Model™. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter @MVDavids

5 Reasons Why Social Media is Good for Business

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Social media has changed the way we do business. It has expanded the local entrepreneurial reach and is the cause for many successes in business. According to LinkedIn recent study, 9 in 10 small businesses say they are currently using or plan to use social media to expand their business.

Most people, after meeting you and/or learning the name of your company, within seconds hop on Google to see what appears. What do they see about your personal brand or business? More importantly, what do you want them to see?

According to the Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, the top two benefits of social media marketing are increasing exposure and increasing traffic.

86% of marketers say that social media is important for their business.

89% of marketers say that increased exposure was the number one benefit of social media marketing.

A recent LinkedIn study showed that 94% of small businesses using social media use it for marketing and 3 in 5 says social media helps to attract new customers.

With social media, you can brand your business on a wider scale, thereby connecting with consumers whom already use social media platforms personally and professionally. If they like what they see, they will connect with you and from there you can develop a stronger connection and business relationship. Here are some ways social media can help grow your business.

1. Exposure. Your reach is significantly further with social media. Social media is a global platform that allows you to connect with people all across the world. Hashtag’s are big in social media platforms such as Twitter and Google+. Create your own hashtag to put a stamp on your brand. Most companies use a hashtag vs. a slogan because it quickly identifies the company and it is easier to remember.

2. Developing Relationships. Connecting with people is essential in gaining new business. Utilizing social media will allow you to relate to your current customers and form new customer relationships. Release content that is relevant, funny, informative or controversial to start up conversation. Interact with your customer base by responding to comments and insight. Many company’s hire a social media person or team to keep the conversation going and remain engaged with their audience.

3. Access to Networks. Through social media, you and your company can develop connections with other networks and organizations. Building relationships on a higher scale by affiliating with well-known experts in your industry is a plus. More often a simple follow from a well known and recognized individual or organization can drive attention to your business and brand.

4. Remaining Relevant and Current. We know that most people check a company’s online presence before doing business with them. Not having current and relevant content and news on social media pages will create a wedge and disconnect between the company and its customers. People want to know what is currently happening and what is to come. Often they look to companies they trust and do business with to deliver this information.

5. Knowing Thy Competition! If you want to remain competitive, you have to be willing to step inside the sand box to find out what’s going on in your industry. How can you compete without knowing what you are up against? Many businesses use social media as a platform to announce new products and services, even before they publish such information with a newspaper or television network. Want to grow? Stay in the know!

To remain successful, it is important to recognize and adjust to industry changes and standards. Growing requires change and change is a necessary element of sustainability. So get out there and tweet, google, facebook and link up on LinkedIn! See you soon!

20140717-133139-48699513.jpgMary V. Davids is the Founder and Managing Member of D&M Consulting Services, LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management. Mary has over a decade of experience in cultivating employee engagement, enhancing employee motivation and workplace performance, leadership coaching and training & development. She also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the South Florida Chapter of the National Association of African American’s in Human Resources. Book Mary to speak at your next event or hire Mary for leadership & professional development consultation today. Follow Mary on twitter@MVDavids.