Successful Business Relationship Questions
For the past seven years, I have been networking at various events. Whether business or real estate (I’m a software engineer and real estate professional), I have met all sorts of people from almost every industry. It has helped me in my relationships with other people running their own businesses. When I first started networking, I wasn’t sure what to talk about or how to network effectively until I started asking how I could help that person with their business.
I now have hundreds of business cards at home with the majority in my contacts on my phone, so when I meet someone at an event and they’re looking for someone or something specific, I can introduce them to someone I’ve already met and forward them the contact info. I’m a connector.
Recently, however; I have been more focused on building deeper connections with a core group of people that I have met through my local REIA (real estate investor’s association) group and these three questions really help me understand the value of that relationship and the impact it will have on both my and the other person’s future.
I’m not asking for your name; that’s not the point and it’s too simple. I want to know who you are as a person. Are you a good person, decent, honorable, loyal, dependable, and truthful? Or, are you a shitty person with ulterior motives doing whatever you can to advance just your pursuits, don’t care about anyone else, and are unwilling to help others?
Successful business relationships are built on “Go-Givers” and “Go-Getters.” The best relationships are with those people that are both “Go-Givers” and “Go-Getters.” They are willing to help you with anything they can and are willing to put in work to make shit happen for the success of everyone.
Another way to put it is with win-win, win-lose, lose-win, and lose-lose. We’re either both successful, one side fails or loses, or both lose. We all want a win-win situation and even better would be a win-win-win situation. In the case of real estate, if I’m buying an investment property; I win because I get a new rental, the homeowner wins because they sold their house, and the renter wins because they now have a house to rent.
Everyone wants to deal with a good person and with a handful of conversations you can figure out who the person is that you’re building a relationship. The same holds true with the shady person; there are indicators and a vibe that emanates from them that will make you question everything about them. That’s your gut feeling, intuition, and experience.
What do you do, not just for your business, but also outside of it? If I’m going to work with you on some level, I want to know what it is you do in and out of business, what you can do for me, and what it is you need from me.
Let’s say you run a lawn care business and you freelance as a video editor on nights and weekends. Well, I already have a lawn guy that I’m happy with; but I have a relationship with someone who needs a video editor and I may want to eventually get into building a Youtube channel. Now, I’m interested in you and interested in building a relationship with you.
Since I’m part of a REIA group, I could introduce you to buy and hold investors and rehabbers for your lawn care service which could generate a significant amount of clients. I could also introduce you to other people looking for a video editor as they film real estate properties and build their Youtube channels.
Everyone has a purpose, a why; that drives them. Your ‘why’ is either pushing you away from something or pulling toward something. Napoleon Hill wrote in Think & Grow Rich to find out what your ‘why’ is and put all of your energy into making sure you achieve your ‘why’ or making sure you stay away from the ‘why.’ On the one hand, your ‘why’ may be that you want to leave a legacy for your children to inherit; so you work toward making that happen. On the other, your ‘why’ may be that you don’t want to be homeless; so you work toward making that NOT happen.
With your lawn care business and freelance video editing; your passion may be video editing because you want to work in film ever since you watched Star Wars, The Goonies, or Squid Game… all because you want to share your creative voice with the world.
Your ‘why’ can reveal a lot and will help me understand who you are, what you do, and what kind of impact you will have in a business relationship. Knowing your ‘why’ will help me build trust over time and generate more business for both of us.
What About Other Aspects?
What other questions besides who, what, and why do I need to build a successful business relationship with someone? What am I missing here?
- Language barrier? I’ll find an interpreter or use a translation app.
- Geographic distance? We can use Teams or Zoom as long as we’re not in majorly different time zones.
- Industries? If I don’t need you at this time, I’ll connect you with someone who does and vice-versa.
Just because we both like a slice of crispy bacon in our Old Fashions (IYKYK) doesn’t mean that we will have a successful business relationship.
Who are you? Are you a good person or a shady dishonest person? What do you do? Is it something of great value to me or anyone I know? Why do you do it? What’s driving you? These questions tell me a lot about you and whether we will have a great business relationship.
What are your thoughts?