Meredith Bell has been an entrepreneur since 1982 and is an expert in helping companies develop relationships and the people side of their business. She is the co-founder of Performance Support Systems, a global software company based in Virginia. Their products are used by business consultants and coaches to help them become more effective leaders.
Meredith is excellent at building strong relationships, many of her clients and resellers have been working with her for over 20 years.
MAIN QUESTIONS ASKED:
- What kind of relationships are there for entrepreneurs?
- What do you feel your secret to long relationships is?
- Are there any other ways we can communicate better to create better relationships?
KEY LESSONS LEARNED:
- Entrepreneurs have to develop many different kinds of relationships between clients, team members, suppliers, affiliates, and partners. Each one requires a different approach.
- Suppliers and affiliates should be seen as partners in your business instead of another transaction.
- It’s important to listen and not just waiting for your opportunity to talk. Give people your full attention.
- Everyone has a need to feel valued and understood. Respond in a way that shows you paid attention and understood.
- Drop your agenda. The more pressured you are to make a sale, the more strained a relationship can become.
- “How can you serve this person so powerfully that they will never forget this conversation for the rest of their lives?” Ask questions that they may never have been asked before.
- Even very successful business owners have the human need to be heard.
- People appreciate the genuine, authentic you. Avoid putting on a front.
- Once you’ve given, you’ve earned the right to ask. Aka, the law of reciprocity.
- Business can become all about the metrics and it’s easy to forget about the people behind the numbers.
- Your mindset going into a conversation should be focused on helping the other person without trying to make a sale all the time, oftentimes they will want to help you in return.
- We are not born with these skills, you have to consciously develop them over time.
- Ask for input, especially when it comes to clients. Survey your customers and value their feedback.
- Ask/give for feedback without making judgements.
- Try to be solution oriented instead of issue oriented.
- Five question framework:
- What happened?
- How did you feel about that?
- Why did it happen that way?
- What were the consequences?
- What have you learned that will determine what you do in the future?
- Don’t dwell on past mistakes, make a plan and move on. Be willing to apologize when you make a mistake and clear the air.
- Focus on giving value to the people in your relationships.
- Try not to make judgements about the bad things that happen, analyze, learn, and move on.
- Relationships have to be nurtured, the skills have to be developed.
- Always aim to be the authentic you.
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