I’m someone who is completely obsessed with learning, I mean seriously I love learning things. Not necessarily in a school setting, in fact I really don’t like learning in a school setting, but that’s beside the point. So, I’ve been doing some studying as of late about how relationships are built in business and how people truly learn to connect. You know, build true friendships and create a bond with someone over something other than a computer screen.
One thing we sometimes forget…
One thing that we often forget to do while doing work on our computers, living the virtual life is to build true relationships. To get offline, head on over to meetup events and actually meet the people that we are doing business with.
I know for some of us, you might be thinking “Oh damn, I thought I got into this business so that I didn’t have to leave my house and I could sit in my underwear all day”
If that’s your dream…that’s a little weird, but I’m okay with that. You can do what you want and I can’t say anything to you. However, if you are like me and want to do more and challenge yourself to grow as a person, you need to be able to get out there and truly meet people! You need to go have a few drinks with people at a local meetup.com event, or a local tweetup. You need to go listen to a workshop at your local chamber of commerce or head to different networking events.
Why? Why, why why?!?
One word: RELATIONSHIPS.
Meeting people in person truly changes the type of relationship you have with them. It takes it from a virtual friendship to the point of you knowing who they really are in real life, what type of jokes they enjoy, what kind of things truly interest them when they are not talking about business and you can even learn about what their goals are.
When I first learned about Meetup.com events I was a senior in college. I was kind of scared to go out and meet people who I really had no idea about. In fact all I knew was that the house was pretty far away from where I was currently living and that I would definitely be the youngest one there. The thing was, it didn’t really matter. I went to that event in Buffalo, NY and met some truly great people. In my normal fashion, I had flip-flops on and a dress shirt. I’m still not 100% on the whole “dress code” in business and feel that Gen Y is changing the game with how business is played.
I met some truly great people, some of them ended up turning into business clients and others turned into friends for brainstorming.
What did I learn at that event?
I didn’t have 25 years of experience in marketing or growing an IT business. I didn’t have a company making $150,000 a year or even a company that was making $25,000 a year.
What did I have to offer? My brain, my jokes and some listening abilities that I picked up throughout that whole high school and college thing that we all seem to go through. I listened, learned and when I felt I had something to offer, offered some advice from my brain.
Basically, you need to get out there and start networking. The first place to start is Meetup.com join some groups and start heading out to these networking events. Take some business cards and learn about the people you are meeting. Don’t become a networking douche and try to sell people your product or service when you first meet them, try to develop a relationship and a good question to ask people is “Who is your ideal customer?” and “How will I know someone is your ideal customer?” so that you can help them grow their business. This is a win-win for you and them because you may be able to help them find a new client and you’ll be paying it forward, which typically comes back to you 😉
So has social media killed relationships?
I personally think it has helped enhance the relationships we have if you choose to use them the right way, to connect and meet new people who share similar interests as you. For some tips on developing profitable relationships through your offline relationships, visit here
There’s me and my friends Darcy, Hillary and Mandee. I met both Hillary and Mandee through Twitter and met up with them to go to the zoo when I was up in Syracuse for a weekend. I had a great time taking a business friendship offline and we had a great time!
What tips and tricks do you have for meeting people offline?