Building positive and lasting relationships is key to successful business growth. A strong personal connection, that has developed and grown over time, can lead to greater client satisfaction and genuine referrals. There are many ways to strengthen relationships, but this article focuses only on giving to others.

When you give to others and expect nothing in return, you will create a relationship basis on generosity and trust. Your connection will remember the knowledge you have shared with them. You will stand out from your competitors.

Below are some simple ideas we use to share knowledge with our connections.

Articles. If you read online articles on a regular basis, you will know that from time to time you come across articles that could help other business owners. Simply forward the article to your connection with a little message letting them know you thought they might like it. If you are connected on social media, you could tag them in the article comments, but sending a little introduction email with the article link is more personal approach.

Introductions. Every so often the industry or target market of your mutual connections crossover with each other. They may create two completely different products, but their target markets are identical. If they collectively market their products/services together, host a joint event or even cross promote each other to their subscribers there is benefits all around. The introduction could be made in person or via email, either way, be transparent in your introduction, letting each person know about the other and why you think they should connect.

Media Opportunities. We subscribe to Sourcebottle for media alerts. This means twice a day, we receive an email directly to our inbox with numerous call outs for experts in various fields to contribute to articles, books, guest speaker events, or other news stories. When we notice something that would be perfect for a connection, we share it with them. Again, a simple email to your connection with the link is a great way to personally alert them to the opportunity.

Partnerships. Similar to Introductions, sometimes you learn of partnership opportunities that may suit a connection. Imagine as you are scrolling through social media you notice a new business is looking for suppliers, or maybe someone in your network is looking for professional (legal/finance/marketing, you get the idea). Send the post to your connection via private message or if you are keen to highlight your connection’s skills publicly tag them in the post. The latter will act as a public recommendation for your connection, creating an opportunity for others to view them online.

Once you have shared the article, opportunity or introduction, the rest is up to your connection. It might work out for them, or they may decide it’s not the right path for them. But to use the old adage – Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Either way, your connection with be grateful that you thought of them, and it does prove to be a great opportunity for your connection, that is the best outcome possible.

At the end of the day, the reason for sharing knowledge is simply to give a little of something without expecting anything in return.

Who knows over time, you may receive an opportunity even more valuable than the one you shared.

By Sam Spence – Founder & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.

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