Sunday, October 02, 2005

Nurturing Your Network: Making Love With Your Hairdresser

Over my years in business, I have learned how relationship building and nurturing those relationships are fundamentally the most basic parts of building a business. It doesn’t matter what business you are in, if you need customers to make your business successful, you need to learn to build and nurture your relationships.

Here is a place to start. Find a good hairdresser and nurture that relationship by referring your friends and associates to her. The folks at Jackson Vocational Instrument Survey (JVIS) determined many years ago that many people become hairdressers for the social interaction with their customers. Of course, this statement is a bit over simplified, so see JVIS for the details, but here’s my point. The social interaction aspect of a hairdresser’s business could be your ticket to building your business (and hers).

You never know who your hairdresser knows and if she understands who makes good customers for you, she is more likely to refer people she knows to you. Likewise, you can do the same for her. That’s the way relationship building and nurturing works. As you build your network, your reputation as a willing source of information and help will grow and also work to expand your network.

An auto repair shop owner, computer consultant, educator, it doesn’t make any difference what your business is, building and nurturing relationships is the central part of growing your business. You can be the best chef, doctor, or plumber in the world and your business will not grow without building and nurturing relationships. Never under estimate the power of your relationships.

Don’t worry about keeping score. Generosity is the key to building and nurturing relationships. As Keith Ferrazzi explains in his book, Never Eat Alone, relationships grow with actions not with making sure the scorecard is even.

I have used this principle of relationship building and nurturing for many years now and have a mighty network of folks who regularly call on me for help and referrals and of course, I gladly call on them when I need their assistance. I try to help anyone who asks. I’ve even received requests for help from friends of friends of friends.

I can honestly say, it never fails to amaze me how generosity pays off both in the good feeling you get when your give and also with the good feeling you get when you can ask someone for help and you see how excited they are about doing everything in their power to help you. Build and nurture the relationship you have with your hairdresser and watch both your businesses grow.

Sharon Cawood
Community Relations & Business Development Professional
Knoxville, Tennessee


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10:40 AM  

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