You can hear it in almost every podcast episode I’ve recorded and every piece of advice I give—the best way to succeed with your organization is to focus on nurturing your relationships.
Doesn’t matter whether you’re thinking about your stakeholders, your customers, or your champions. Creating a consistent and long-term relationship makes it easier for you to build trust and make the ask.
Want to know how to build a relationship? Everything you need to know can be summed up in a single formula
relationships = interactions/time
In other words, you can’t create a relationship with just one or two interactions over a short period of time.
To build stronger relationships, you need to commit to having real and valuable conversations over time. Doing so will eventually create the opportunity to ask for a favor—be it an email, an exchange of “higher value” (like time), or a monetary transaction.
If we look at the audience engagement cycle (read more about this in Mission Uncomfortable here), each phase – Attract, Connect, Bond, and Inspire – is centered around creating an open dialogue with your stakeholders.
You’re trying to get them to engage with you and move through these cycles to ultimately become rabid fans because they’ll be more likely to enter into a monetary transaction relationship and champion your cause in the long term.
So continue to build your audience, get them fired up about what you are doing—then ask them to take that next step.