Listen

Relationships are great for business. There’s just one problem. You can’t successfully build those relationships if your focus is just what that person can do for you.

If you can cultivate a real interest in other people, it will do your business a world of good. It will also help you in other ways. Study after study has shown that people who have lots of social connections are healthier. They tend to resist viruses better and generally live longer.

One way to cultivate friendships is to listen. I mean really listen. Hear what the other person is saying. Find areas of commonality. If it’s a customer, listen with the purpose of helping them to solve the issues that they find most frustrating. If it’s a networking contact, listen to find out how you can best help them. If you can truly turn your focus to getting to know that other person and helping them, you’ll form a bond. I’ll never know that, though, if I’m only listening for how I can drum up more business for myself.

By building relationships with people with a wide variety of skills and proficiencies, you can help other people connect. For instance, I demonstrate kitchen tools. If one of my customers needs a good home repair person, I know just the guy. I can help my customer and my friend by connecting them.

Who knows where those bonds might lead?

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