I just love the web. There is such rich content if you know where to look. One of my favourite sites is inc.com – which focuses on the needs of entrepreneurs and business owners. A lot of its content is of great use to professional services like accounting.
Here is a wonderful piece on the importance of leveraging one of the most important assets any accountant has – relationships.
Ask any entrepreneur or salesperson (one might argue there is no difference) about their greatest asset and you’ll often hear the same answer: their network and relationships.
Countless bestsellers have been written on how to cultivate and nurture relationships. Why is it then that we see so many people not taking advantage of the opportunities to broaden their network and engage with those who could potentially be their next great partner?
As our firm continues to grow and we bring in top talent from a variety of companies and professional backgrounds, we realize that each of us has a strong network of relationships that we aren’t fully leveraging.
Here are three ways to improve the way you nurture your network to get the most out of your professional relationships.
1. Focus on the value that you can provide to your network and not necessarily on what the person can provide for you. If you can provide value to someone in your network with limited time and resource investment, do it! Aside from the fact that it is a nice gesture, you can be sure you’ll be top of mind next time this person or someone in their network has a need that fits your area of expertise.
2. Being a relationship “broker” can offer significant benefits to your personal and professional brand. While you should always be sensitive to busy people’s time, simply making an introduction between two people in your network who share a common interest or challenge can do wonders for each of these individual relationships.
3. Don’t let personal fears get in the way of forming new relationships. It is far easier to talk to people you already know than it is to form new relationships. Explore the boundaries of your comfort zone to put yourself in a position to form new, productive relationships whenever an opportunity arises. It is never an easy task, but proactively expanding your network can pay off in dividends for your personal and professional development.
It’s generally preferable to have fewer high-quality relationships than hundreds of low-quality relationships. By following these simple steps, you can begin to improve the quality of your professional relationships – a skill that is admired by many but mastered by few.
See you next post,