So, what gets me in the door? Awww the question everyone wants to know! So many ask this question and although there is not one perfect answer but a combination I am going to cover only one I feel is at the top of the list…building relationships.

A speaker once asked me, “How do I get my foot in the door, I have tried and tried and have struggled for many years with no advancement whatsoever…I am stuck.” This speaker had tried marketing campaigns, built up his website and positioned himself quite well, however the one thing that was lacking was his relationships, and he had none. He did not know how to build relationships and then more importantly nurture them!

A Speaking business is much the same as any business, we all know this and it takes business skills and common sense really to move ahead of the pack. You learn many skills that help you get found and grow your speaking business but one major element that is lacking in many business owners especially in a speakers business is the relationship building. This to me is hard to understand, because speakers get the opportunity to be in front of hundreds of people on a regular basis and yet lack that all important component in their business.

We have to wonder why right? It’s pretty simple and logical that we need relationships to grow and we know we need these relationships yet we avoid them or don’t take the time to nurture them. Why not? I really couldn’t explain that one but I do know it’s at the top of the chain of importance and if done properly and with integrity will grow your business to amazing levels of success that you never expected.

So, maybe you are a person that says, “I have relationships, I grow them and start new ones all the time,” but do you? Relationship building is time consuming indeed and could be one of the reasons we don’t have as many relationships as we would like, but I can tell you if you’re going to focus on only a few things in order to grow your business then relationship building needs to be at the top or all that money and time you spent in marketing campaigns, email campaigns, advertising and JV partnerships and so forth will be for naught. If you’re going to bring people in you had better spend the time to genuinely create healthy relationships, I really can’t stress this enough.
You all hear me say time and time again to find the people in your targeted market who have the power to hire you then you start relationships with them, honest ones in which you show that you truly care, keep it honest…always, and please be yourself. You nourish these relationships then Wow…you will see amazing things happen in your business! This my friend is what will get your foot in the door. Relationships. Relationships. Relationships.

Below I mention a few ways to start and nurture them in an authentic way, I don’t want you going out and trying to create relationships that are not real or ones you just add to the notch or list. I am talking about honest relationships, ones in which you truly care. People are not ignorant and can tell when someone is not being honest, distant and cold. This is an immediate turn off and people run the opposite direction. Today people just want someone to truly care about them, their feelings and what they are going through, they want to like you, they want to trust you and only then will they open up to you in an authentic way in which a relationship blooms.

1. A true sign of caring is being a good listener! It’s not all about what you can do for this person but just being quiet, soak up what the other person is saying and genuinely listen. When they are done, ask questions and listen again. Do not go off on your sales pitch, this is a turn off and makes one feel like you are there for one thing…to sell. This will not grow relationships.

2. Follow up. Very important especially for speakers and trainers. If you had a workshop or event you spoke at what happens to the participants that you made contact with, the ones you got their email addresses…do you stay in touch, do you follow up with the ones you had a conversation with brief or not? Do you open the doors to possibilities? Great potential here for relationship building don't lose the opportunity.

3. Call backs. If someone calls you for help, call them back at least within a 24 hour period. Now, I know some of you can’t do this because of your schedule and this is why we need assistants to help back us up when we are unable to make the calls or send the emails. Have excellent customer care as this shows you truly care and starts the relationship building process. Remember people want to work with people who they feel cares.

4. Going the extra mile. Give without expecting to receive, this is what it’s all about and you should do it with an open heart and not ulterior motives. Please read that sentence again. Don’t short change anyone, what is that going to do for you except possibly hurt someone and lose a potential client. I’m not saying go out and spend a large amount of money but be willing to give in ways that can really cost you nothing but your time, a good ear and your wise words of wisdom. Be willing to share. Pay it forward…

The above tips are only a few things you can do to start and nourish relationships, there are many. Just remember without authentic and fun relationships you won’t feel fulfilled nor see the results you want.

Relationship building opens the doors to many possibilities but you have to be willing to put forth the effort, love it and find joy in creating relationships.

I adore and absolutely love the speakers and trainers I work with, I have had the pleasure of growing relationships over the last ten years, ones that I wouldn’t trade for the world and would do anything for them…this my friend is true happiness and success.

Author's Bio: 

Wendi McNeill founder of Charli Jane Speaker Services has been opening doors of opportunity for speakers since 2002. She helps speakers increase their visibility, credibility, hire-ability and income.

If you would like to learn more or work with Wendi please visit her online at