Saturday, June 21, 2008


One of the most common mistakes people make when building relationships for career success and revenue growth is treating business contacts differently than personal friends.

Just think for a moment about the people you work with on a professional level who are also close personal friends. Aren't they always more forgiving when you slip up and more helpful when you're in need than new acquaintances are? Of course! I guarantee your work will be easier, more joyful, and more successful if you make more of your business relationships personal.

How to do it? The same way you make genuine friends. Build trust through intimacy; show them that besides being professional, you're human. Skip the small talk and go deep into what really matters -- your dreams or fears, your children or the business issues that keep you up at night. Even better, have new clients and contacts spend time with you and your family and friends.

As it turns out, there are also benefits for the bottom line. "Not only has that customer done business with us, they have also influenced other potential customers and helped us in establishing a number of key relationships in the market.

We all have more opportunities than we realize to overlap our personal and professional lives. You can keep up your personal life by including a date, a significant other, or a few good, fun friends. Most important, it makes for a much more robust, personal conversation between everyone.

In this day and age, when our most scarce resource is time, the closest you can come to creating more time is by overlapping agendas. So take more of these opportunities to make business more personal, and please don't think your professional contacts will think less of you. In fact, usually the opposite happens. In most cases, this blurring of personal and professional lives seems to be good for business and good for our families, our friends, and ourselves.

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