Author: Lisa Wozniak
One of the most challenging aspects of having your own private practice (coaching, health, or legal) is building the types of relationships with people that will impact your growth in a sustainable way.
Let’s face it, networking with strangers, whether it be for collaboration, client attrition or joint venture partnerships can be intimidating. You’re often in your most vulnerable state as you try to engage in meaningful conversation that’s helpful to both parties.
What I’ve learned over the last year or so is that if you embrace networking or relationship building from the standpoint of helping others, rather than focusing on your own private practice needs, then it really takes the pressure to perform off your shoulders.
In some work I’d done recently with Paul McManus, he shared with me, “When you open yourself up to really getting to know someone for who they are, and what’s important to them, and you begin to actively look for ways to help support them without ever expecting anything in return, that’s when real growth occurs.
He went on to share with me that when you make this your business model, it will come back to you ten-fold.
To many private practice owners who are struggling with growing their practice, this concept, I’m sure sounds foreign. We’re pulled in so many directions on a daily basis and always looking for the next client or the next piece of content or the next project or contract.
But what if we applied these principles and just took a minute to get to know someone……to really know someone?
I took Paul McManus up on his challenge and now it’s become a natural extension of the way I do business. The relationships that I’ve made with people are ones that I hold near and dear to my heart. And Paul was right, it’s come back to me ten-fold. Between new clients, new projects, joint ventures and most importantly new relationships, I feel wealthy in all the ways that matter most.
The best part of this process for me was discovering that I did not have to attend some of those networking events that make most of us cringe. You know that ones that I’m talking about….there are about 50-100 people in a crowded room all shoving their business cards in your face; where they try and sell you their goods? Nope this can be done anywhere at any time in the most relaxed situations imaginable.
I recently did a virtual coffee with the incredible Meredith Bell. We set up a video conference call to do a “virtual coffee”. I used Zoom as a video conference call, but it can be done with Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime, or any other means of connecting with people that feels comfortable to you.
I chatted with Meredith on the phone first to see if she’d be interested in going online and doing a virtual coffee with me and asked her permission in recording the event. When she said yes, I drafted a list of questions and sent them to her for approval and we scheduled a date to chat.
What a great time we had! I got the opportunity to learn more about a brilliant woman that I admire, and how she is changing the world with her coaching practice, and the best part is we’ve built a relationship that we’re excited to grow! Meredith and I have chatted about the possibility of collaborating on future projects and actively look for ways that we can support one another.
All of this happened because we chose to get to know one another and build a relationship without the expectation of anything in return.
Let’s face it, we live in an advanced technological world where people and projects move at lightning speed. The good news however is that this same technology also offers us the opportunity to build lasting relationships with people all over the world.
It’s not new news that people will buy from those they like and trust, but my question to you is, how will you be building relationships for your private practice in the months to come?
Paul McManus is the Co-Founder of More Clients More Fun. I encourage you to check out their website and sign up for their free webinar, “10-Point Checklist to Enroll More Clients Using LinkedIn.”
Meredith Bell is Co-Founder and President of Performance Support Systems (PSS), a global software company that publishes award-winning assessment and development products. Their Strong Performance coaching system creates new work habits in an online setting.