“It’s all Relationships, John”
Several years ago, as a pledging school counselor I had the privilege of learning and working with a world-renowned psychiatrist, Dr William Glasser. Dr Glasser had that gift of being able to make seemingly complex issues very simple. We were talking about world issues one day. He stopped looked me in the eye and said “it Is all relationships, John, all relationships”.
This issue of the Network Marketing Magazine is a celebration of the 13 years in publication. This 13th-anniversary edition is an opportunity to consider one of the foundational skills of successful network marketers. People who are successful in network marketing have passion, drive and discipline for sure but the foundation of their success is the ability to build and maintain relationships. Sarah Roberts, a millionaire network marketer writes in “Rock your Network Marketing Business” that her four loves of her profession are;
Freedom and Flexibility
Personal and professional growth in leadership and communication
Interestingly every one of Sarah’s four “Loves” has to do with relationships, building them and maintaining them.
She notes that prior to entering network marketing she was a shy teacher trying to make some part-time money She had to learn, practice and refine her relationship building and maintaining skills to be successful. I have actually seen this in my own wife, a shy special education teacher has become a top Mary Kay Director whose accomplishments have led to her picture being displayed in Times Square last Year along with other company leaders. She is known in our community as a connector who knows everyone. She practices and refines her relationship skills every day.Her success as Sarah Roberts’ and other successful network marketers would affirm Dr Glasser thoughts It is all relationships, building them and maintaining them. Both examples also show that relationship skills can be learned, and refined, reaping tremendous tremendous benefits beyond sales.
Learning relationship skills that can be learned.
They are not a gift from the heavens they are skills learned and developed over time. Developing relationship skills is an inside-out journey of learning and practicing specific skills.
Here are 3 questions consider in learning and refining your relationship building skills
Look first at yourself. What is your relationship with you? Your relationship with you will mirror your relationship with others. What do you do to take care of yourself?
Look at those you come in contact with. Do you smile and make eye contact and have a handshake for people you meet? Smiling and Eye contact and a handshake convey respect. This is a big part of that first impression about Dan Coyle in the “Culture Code”quotes studies showing that people have 5 seconds to make a good impression.
How well do you listen to others in conversations? True listening requires a laser-like focus on the speaker. This is the ultimate sign of respect, notes business coach and trainer Nicki Keohohou co-founder of the Direct Selling World Alliance. She refers to this person-centered learning, listening as “heart-centered listening. A colleague of mine puts it this way, think of LISTEN, scramble the letters and you get the first part of Heart-Centered Listening, SILENT. You’re being quiet in speech and mind allows you to be respectful and concentrate to learn for the other person.
Learning about another person is a great sign of valuing and respecting them. Asking great questions and then pausing to listen (heart-centered listening) are the keys to this skill. Ask yourself two things. First, What kind of questions do I ask? Are my questions open-ended (Please Share,What, Where, How) conversation starters or are they closed-ended questions like “Why do you do that “ conversation killers. Secondly, do you pause and listen after a question to make sure you understand the response. Building relationships is about learning and connecting with people. You can’t do that if you don’t listen and you talk too much. People don’t want an expert, they want to be listened to.
Do you need helping in developing these skills? Seeking out a mentor or Coach thru a trusted organization such as the Direct Sales World Alliance.
The second and most lasting relationship skill is maintaining relationships. Building relationships is a start maintaining those relationships is beneficial for everyone and leads to new relationships. This skill can be learned, practiced and refined.
Here are three sets of questions to ask yourself:
Are you personable? Do you remember peoples names? Do you remember important parts of their “story” like birthdays, spouse/boyfriends name? Are you available in hard times(wakes) and good times (Weddings) remembering to send cards is a huge part of personable. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said it Best “people don’t care what you know until they know that you Care!”.
Are you prompt? Do you follow-up as promised. Are you on time with meetings and deliveries? How do you respond to the other person when you are not prompt or make a mistake. An apology and/or quick solution goes a lot further in maintaining a relationship than an excuse.
Do you intentionally practice relationship building and maintaining skills? Do you reflect on how you are progressing and make plans every day to improve.
Network Marketers succeed in large part by building and maintain relationships. The benefits of learning and refining these two skills have a more profound effect than business. These skills allow us to add value and respect to all we come in contact with every day. We can be a model for our families and everyone we come in contact with. John Maxwell, leadership expert says, leaders add value to others. That is what building and maintaining relationships does.
40 years ago Dr.Glasser had it right. Relationships are everything.
Coyle,D. (2018) The Culture Code New York,N.Y. Bantam Books
Glasser, W. (1998) Choice Theory, Harper Collins, New York, N.Y.
Maxwell, J.C. (2017) Developing the Leader within You 2.0 Nashville, Tn. Harper Collins
Robbins,S. (2013) Rock Your Network Marking World, Rockin Robbins Publishing,Canton, MI
John is an accomplished and experienced coach, trainer, and leader in a variety of nonprofit and direct sales settings. John has 45 years of experience serving as professor, licensed counselor, and high school administrator, as well as a university administrator. He has also served as a leader in social service agencies, church, and hospital settings. He has trained, coached, and consulted with school districts, universities, social service agencies, and churches. John also has experience as a trainer and coach with the William Glasser Institute working with educators to provide healthy respectful school cultures. John has also been an active trainer and coach with his wife’s direct sales team. John currently teaches Doctoral level leadership classes focusing on servant leadership coaching and relationship building for transformational change. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Latest posts by John Hackett (see all)
- The power of relationship skills in Network Marketing and Beyond by John Hackett Ed.D. - October 1, 2018
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