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“No man is an island.” John Donne was born in 1572 in London and became an avid writer of poetry, sonnets, songs and sermons.  This line from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, written in 1624, expresses in one short phrase, how we humans cannot thrive in isolation from other people. And 400 years later we still quote him!

Each of us needs others in order to prosper and grow. It’s impossible for a business to exist, let alone thrive, without people! People are the only ones buying what any business has to offer. Think about it.

People prefer doing business with those they know, like and trust. And this all starts with building relationships.

Just as each person is biochemically unique, successful relationships are unique to the pair or group of individuals involved. Relationships don’t happen instantly, they evolve and change over time. The bonds between people become stronger and mature as familiarity, expectations and trust grows.

Relationship marketing (also known as referral marketing and word-of-mouth marketing) takes being persistent, consistent and staying committed.  There actually is a natural process that happens if one is willing to invest the time to build relationships in order to build their business. Dr. Ivan Misner, Chairman of BNI, Business Networking International, recognized the process over 30 years ago and calls it The VCP Process®.

VCP is the acronym for Visibility, Credibility, Profitability.

Relationships always start with being visible to others. From there they can grow and develop.

There’s more to being visible that you may think!

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” – John Donne, 1624