Today is Friday, so this post is on interpersonal competence.
Ty Freyvogel had a very interesting article in the online version of ColoradoBiz Magazine this week. It was called “10 ways to strengthen those critical business relationships in the new year.” Mr. Freyvogal was writing to entrepreneurs, but some of his advice pertains directly to anyone interested in becoming more interpersonally competent.
Here are some of the ideas that Mr. Freyvogel suggests.
"Learn as much as you can about everyone you work with. Then, act on that knowledge. You need to know as much as possible about everyone from your customers to your vendors to your employees so that when their needs change, you can be there to provide them with what they need to stay happy with your business."
"Constantly ask others, ‘What can I do for you?’ Then, do it. They’ll appreciate your efforts to help them be as successful as possible. Always treat them with the utmost respect and do everything in your power to make them happy. That may mean anything from giving a customer who is going through a hard time a discount that is ‘especially’ for them to giving an employee whose daughter is starting college an unexpected bonus. Acts such as these are the building blocks of creating strong relationships.
"Know everyone’s birthday. You might be thinking, How much of a difference will saying "Happy birthday" really make? Well, the answer is a big one. People love to be acknowledged no matter the reason. And in a world where everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives, getting a happy birthday wish from the people you regularly come into contact with is becoming a rarity."
"Set up a Google calendar that includes the birthdays of everyone you come into contact with on a business level and set up reminders that will let you know when those days are close. When someone’s name pops up, take the time to send a card, call with a birthday wish, or even just send a quick email acknowledging her special day and thanking her for the help she gives your business. You’ll be surprised how powerful those two words can be and how much they can benefit your business."
"Have one-on-one conversations with your customers to find out what you can do better. Most of the time unsatisfied customers don’t approach you with a detailed list of the things they’d like for you to improve on. They just leave you for one of your better-equipped competitors. Therefore, you must set aside some time to ask them what they need from you."
"Contact your mentors frequently. Think about those people who gave you valuable advice when you were trying to get your business off the ground, or that person you call immediately when you need advice. That person is your mentor, and you want to have a close relationship with her so that she is willing to go that extra mile to help you build your business."
"Don’t call your mentor only when you have a problem. Get in touch regularly, even if it is just to give her an update on how things are going. You never know, she might tell you about a contact that could help you in a certain aspect of your business, for instance, or tell you where she sees a hang-up. Always send a thank-you note after she’s done something to help you—it’s a small gesture that has a big impact. And be sure to ask her once in a while, ‘Is there anything I can do for you?’"
"Constantly recognize a job well done. Everyone likes to be told they’ve done a good job on something…Also, never hesitate to acknowledge when one of your vendors is doing a good job. If one of your delivery guys is always on time, friendly, and helpful when you need him to be, call his boss and let him know how happy you are with the service you receive from his employee. Tell him how great this employee makes his business look, and always tell that employee how much you appreciate the excellent service."
"Be flexible with the people you count on…Always be understanding when a problem comes up out of the blue and ask if there is anything you can do to help…Besides, you never know when you will need the same respect from them."
"Here’s the bottom line: no matter how determined, hardworking, and talented you may be, you simply can’t be a successful entrepreneur (or in your life and career) all by yourself."
"Always be on the lookout for ways to show your key players that you want to be their favorite business owner. Make sure they are getting as much out of the relationship as you are. Show them you care."
This is some great common sense advice from Ty Freyvogel. And it applies to anyone who wants to succeed in his or her life and career – not just entrepreneurs. I like it because Mr. Freyvogel does a great job in pointing out that interpersonal competence is a key component of career and life success.
You can learn more about Ty Freyvogel and his company by logging on to www.EntrepreneursLab.com
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