My goal is to help my clients deepen their relationships with the most important people in their networks. So I thought I’d share what I call the “Five Freebies.” The “Five Freebies” are simple tricks that help you stay top of mind. In fact, they are so simple that by the time you finish reading this blog post, you should be able to put them to use right away. So let’s get into it!
The ‘Five Freebies’ are simple tricks that help you stay top of mind.” Tweet this
Freebie 1 | The classic “It’s been awhile” ping
This is the easiest of the freebies and you can use it on just about anyone! For example, you might ping your friend, Jim, saying, “Hey Jim, I was thinking of you this morning and it made me realize that it has been awhile since we last spoke. I would love to hear what is happening in your world. I can’t wait to hear from you.”
This is the classic email that you can send to just about anyone in your network after a few months have lapsed in your relationship. It lets the other person know that you’re thinking of them and you should get together again (or at least get an update). There’s a catch with this freebie: you can only use it once or it will become obvious that you’re being programmatic and are not genuinely interested. I like this one because it is easy to use and a good way to get your feet wet with NRM.
Freebie 2 | Deepen a Relationship by Saying “Thank You”
Saying thank you is one of the most powerful things you can do to deepen a relationship. Freebie 2 is all about learning to express that you’re grateful to the people who have enriched your life. Here’s an example: “I just wanted to reach out and thank you. This afternoon, I was thinking about last year and it came to mind that I never clearly said thank you for all the advice that you’ve given me and my company over the years. You made a huge impact and I’m glad to have you as a friend.”
A simple thank you can be so powerful, but it must be genuine. So be as specific. Instead of “Thank you for the great time we had!” Follow up with, “I was never aware that you could achieve so much success with making your team more loyal by simply asking what their needs were.” The bottom line is that as long as your thank you is genuine, you’ll enrich the relationship. That person will see that you took the time to show them that you value them and this will help you be remembered as a grateful and humble person.
Saying thank you is one of the most powerful things you can do to deepen a relationship. Tweet this
Try to think of someone in your network that has helped you in some way or another and try offering them a thank you!
Freebie 3 | Provide Value by Asking for Help
Some of us dread asking for help, but the act of asking for help can deepen our relationships with others. Benjamin Franklin famously said, “He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do another than he whom you yourself have obliged.” That’s right! When someone does us a favor, it creates a stronger bond.
Did you know? Asking for help can deepen our relationships with others. Tweet this
You might be thinking that this seems counterintuitive, but that’s actually why I love this freebie. When we ask someone for help, we make them feel valued. The need to feel valued is deeply anchored in the fundamental human condition, and that’s the reason it works so well. Once we know this subtle truth, we can put it into practice by asking others for their help. As with all of these freebies, do not just aimlessly ask for help. Find a good, genuine reason why you need help and ask the right person to help you.
Asking for help can be daunting, so here’s an example: “Hi Sally, I am wondering if you are willing to help. I joined Acme a few months ago and I am in the process of building a team. I’m curious if you knew anyone I could talk to about how to make great hiring choices.” It’s as simple as that.
This wonderfully elegant freebie has one major challenge: Many of us are hesitant to ask for help. Some people believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness, and weakness is bad for business. This is an antiquated view. If your business is based on relationships, then asking for help will rarely hurt it. In fact, you’ll get some of your best opportunities through asking for help. If you struggle with this, just think about the times that you had to ask for help and all of the good that ended up coming out of it. Or Even better, think about a time someone asked you for help and how you valued it made you feel. Now, go create that feeling in others! Think about any challenges you are currently facing, and try to match one of those challenges with someone in your contacts. Don’t be shy! Reach out and ask them for help.
Freebie 4 | Apologies: Apologizing well is an art form.
It is often difficult for us for the same reason that asking for help can be challenging. We often associate apologizing with weakness, but apologizing is powerful if used correctly.
Apologizing is not a weakness, if used correctly it can be very powerful. Tweet this
A simple illustration of an apology: “Hi Sarah! I just realized that I never apologized for not having responded to your request a while back. I really care about you and the only excuse that I have is that life has gotten in my way.” Apologizing can create a powerful bonding experience by evoking empathy in the recipient. Usually people can commiserate with whatever you’re apologizing for. In our example, life got in the way – this is something most people can relate to. Everyone has forgotten to reply to an important email.
When you apologize, you’re offering respect and care for the other person, even if what you’re apologizing for is somewhat lightweight. People take apologies seriously because they are rare, so you’re likely to get a quick response. Moreover, one apology can lead to another and often you will uncover deeper issues that you both need to resolve, thereby improving your relationship considerably. You want to take care that you do not overdo it. Apologize too often and your apologies will lose their significance.
So let’s do a little exercise with this one. Look through your contacts and ask yourself if you can apologize to anyone. Have you ever had to reschedule more than twice? Have you ever recognized that you were not paying enough attention to someone? Have you let someone down and then gotten too busy to apologize?
Freebie 5 | Be Positive
This is the fun freebie. All you’re doing with freebie five is offering a genuine compliment. One of the most positive messages you can send to someone is that you actually really like the person. This freebie is generally easy unless you have a problem giving compliments. There’s a really simple trick for offering compliments: Any time you think of something genuinely positive about someone, voice it. If a specific trait or situation does not come to mind, then simply tell the person that you like them, and why you like them. This is an easy way to make a powerful impact.
So that sums it all up. Here is an arsenal of tools that you can use whenever you’re struggling with finding a reason to reach out to someone. You can start right away, but always keep in mind that these freebies should be used in moderation. This is just the beginning -in the future, we will look at more ways to deepen your relationships.
Do you really want your follow-up skills to shine? I encourage you to use each freebie twice a week for the next six months. I’d love to hear how it goes in the comments![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]