To take a quick re-cap. In Part 1, we looked at Visibility in our relationship and the 3 steps on the ladder that we need to go through whilst developing the stage in the relationships that we have.
The first step is Awareness which is that time when we first come into contact with someone, which can happen in any number of different ways.
Familiarity is Step 2. Now we’re at a stage in the relationship where people start to recognise us or our name. And vice versa.
As people start to Know & Like you, you move on to Step 3. Just remember that knowing you is not, usually, enough. People need to like you if you want to move up to the next Step.
As people start to develop confidence in you you start to develop credibility and move up to Step 4. Inspiring people’s confidence in us is what it’s all about. And the activities we need to engage in are the same ones we need to be engaging in to move up onto Step 5 where people develop trust in you. It’s simply a process where people start to trust you as their confidence grows.
So. lets now move on to the final two Steps on the relationship ladder. Those two where we start to move into the realms of creating Profitabilty from the relationship.
Once you’ve fully established your Credibility, once the Confidence and the Trust that people have in you (and in what you do) grows to a certain level, they will start to develop a degree of Reliance upon you. At this point you’ve now climbed up on to the 6th rung on the Relationship Ladder.
Every step on the ladder is important but once you’ve got up to the Reliance step it’s essential that you work to maintain everything that you’ve now achieved and consolidate your position.
When people start to develop Reliance on you, you need to demonstrate that their Reliance is justified so that it continues to develop. Consolidation is the name of the game here and you achieve that by doing more of the same. Every step you’ve taken, everything you’ve given, every way that you’ve found to add value to the relationship, so far, you simply need to do more of.
When people become Reliant on you it means that, if they have a need for your product or service themselves, they wouldn’t consider using anyone else, at all. You would be their first, and probably, only port of call.
It also means that they would be highly likely to refer you in the event that someone asked if they knew anyone that does what you do. They have confidence in you and they trust you and they would refer you to the most important people in their personal contact sphere. However, on this Step of the relationship ladder, their referrals would tend to be reactive ones. That is, they will refer you when the subject of your product or service comes up. [Read more…]