Most business owners have learnt that even with the best products and business practices, it is the professional relationships you develop that will grow your business and lead to your success. In this post I will share some tips on how to identify and build strong relationships that in turn will increase your success.
It is vital to form supportive relationships as your businesses grows. The way you interact and relate to others will have a direct positive or negative effect when it comes to your results and building the know, like, trust factor. As your business grows and responsibilities increase, your relationships and contact with customers, suppliers, competitors, industry leaders, financiers and professional mentors|advisers must also grow.
So how can you gain positive and supportive relationships within your business and encourage others to know you, like you and trust you? Here are my top four tips that has helped my business to continue to grow and expand, change and reinvent, each year since it began nearly two decades ago.
- Encourage Honest Feedback
A good relationship needs clear and open communication channels of how everyone is performing. Encourage constructive criticism and be brave enough to hear what your clients, collegues and team members suggest are ways your business can perform better.
- Listen More Than You Talk
Always clearly convey the strengths, features and benefits of your business so that you can impress potential clients and collaborators, and ultimately get more business – yet don’t forget to be a good listener. What will set you apart from your competitors is that you take the time to listen to your clients, team and colleagues more than you talk; and take time to really understand where they are coming from. Most people naturally want to be heard and tell their story. Being known as a good listener is the kind of behavior that leads to referrals and long-term business success.
- Make A Routine
Create a system to ensure that not too much time passes before you connect with your contacts, such as a formal database or spread sheet. With the explosion of social media tools it’s never been easier to keep in touch, so include this in your follow up strategy. Most of your contacts are people you don’t know well but who may become clients or collaborators in the future. It is worthwhile regularly connecting with them so that you keep top of their mind and you never know who they will bump into that needs your services even if they don’t. If you’ve spoken briefly to someone at a conference or a networking event have a follow up routine in place.
- Be Trustworthy And Build Trusting Relationships
So a person or group now know you, they like you and the last, and possibly most important thing to do, is to build trust. Relationships built on trust are the most personal, valuable and often the longest-lasting ones. Trust is built on a foundation of honesty, genuineness and a feeling of rapport and synergy. You may have frequently worked together or you have had many interactions with one another that has gone well. The most profitable business deals are the ones that are made through trusted, and often long term, relationships.
How can you build great business relationships? How can you be more consistent in showing up, being seen, and getting to know others on a deeper level? Networking, meeting for coffee, chatting on the phone and email contact all take time that is unbillable hours – yet after a while the return on your time investment will be well worth it.