Building value-based relationships mean building a relationship with someone not only because you like them but also because they have something that you need and you also have something to offer them. To build a powerful value-based relationship, one must have the orientation of a giver, i.e. giving creative gifts and offering oneself as a resource. There are so many advantages to being a giver.

For example; With a gift or act of kindness or service, you invest in the person’s emotional bank account, creating a sense of loyalty. Any support or favour you seek within the person’s capacity will only be seen as deserved. This is not bribery; you should create a culture of sending gifts long before you’ll ever need to ask for anything. Thoughtful gifts have been seen as one of the most effective strategies for networking. Your gifts will always make ways for you. For example, if you have been looking at asking someone to mentor you or give you an internship opportunity, the easiest way to establish such a relationship is by consistently offering yourself a resource and giving them creative gifts long before you ever need to ask for any favours.

Networking is the art of raising social capital. Social capital is the currency that you need to be socially relevant. Money gives influence because you can easily buy resources, but if you know how to raise social capital, you can compete with someone who has the money or even better. People are more valuable than money. Even fundraising starts from friend-raising. We hope you focus on raising friends. People whose primary focus is raising funds may end up committing social bankruptcy. 

Social bankruptcy is when there are limited people you can ask for a favour because you don’t have enough relationship/influence with the people around you or have asked all of them for one favour or the other before. You can not ask them for one another. When you seek favour, and people tell you they don’t have; it’s often not that they don’t have at all. It is that they don’t think that the value that you offer is deserving of their resources.

Here are some steps to follow in building value-based relationships:

Understand that perception is reality. People often don’t have the luxury of time to understand your reality. They tend to stick with perceptions. The way you look, the way you dress, what is on your social media page, how correct and accurate your message appears all have a part to play in this. Let everything about you speak excellence and value from afar. Let them the price you as expensive from afar so that when you get close and offer yourself as a resource, they don’t price you less.

Always be ready to meet people. As a development enthusiast or practitioner, you must have a personal elevator pitch. – this is how you unforgettably introduce yourself in 30 secs. It should project a clear area of focus, what you have done and what you need. Try not to introduce yourself first. Always get the second mover advantage by asking people to introduce themselves first. This way, you get the advantage of projecting your area of interest that aligns most with theirs. And not make the mistake of sharing what is not relevant to the person. Divide everyone you meet every day into these 3 major categories that we will later discuss. Knowing the place of people in your life gives you the advantage of maximizing your relationship with them.

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