Business is and has always been more about who you know, not necessarily what you know. Yes, you’ve likely heard that cliché before however for small business, it is very relevant.
Taking the time to build better business relationships… ones that have the potential to be mutually beneficial… is key to success in business.
Nothing truly worthy happens in business without people. Even if it’s all business, it’s personal. Someone is affected one way or another.
Business relationships take effort though. Effort, that if done systematically and purposefully, can bear tremendous fruit.
What follows are 9 simple, very doable ways you can use, to build better business relationships.
NOTE: THIS POST IS PART OF THE 4-PART "DIFFERENTIATE OR DIE" SERIES...
➊ Do Your Homework
It’s never been easier to find out something about anyone. Just Google them.
Go ahead! Type their name into Google and run a search. You are bound to find out something you can use to bond with them.
There’s nothing more flattering than when someone you meet with has obviously taken the time to learn a little bit about you in advance.
Find commonality. Common contacts. Common interests. Talking points and other areas you can bond around.
➋ Keep Stellar Records
As business professionals, we may make hundreds, maybe even thousands of contacts each year.
This makes it all the more critical to keep good records.
Now when we are about to resume conversations with someone we haven’t spoken to in a while, we can go back and see exactly where we left off.
➌ Stay In Touch
There’s nothing worse than not following up with a new contact. You’ve gone through the process of meeting them.
Have a system for staying connected, email marketing systems make this easier than ever!
Consistency is key here!
Be sure to make each contact purposeful and valuable to your contact.
➍ Learn To Listen
We have the ability to hear.
However, do we always listen intently when our contacts speak?
If so, we probably wouldn’t forget their name within seconds after they tell us.
Seek first to understand and then to be understood! Not the other way around. I’m talking about making a conscious effort to listen.
Most of us are so busy trying to figure out what to say next that we don’t really listen to what the other person is saying.
Be genuinely curious!
➎ Your Word Is Gospel
As a matter of fact, your word is all you have! It’s gold. Treat it as such.
It’s as simple as that.
Abuse it with your contact and you can damage your integrity and credibility with them… possibly forever.
➏ Show Respect
Respect for your contact, their actions, beliefs and their time. This doesn’t mean that you have to like it; You just need to respect it because it’s important to them.
Nothing damages a business relationship more than utter disrespect.
This is even more reason to research your contact and find out what makes them tick!
Hey if you can avoid offending someone, why not do it?
➐ Exercise Patience
We live in a world of instant gratification. We want everything yesterday!
While this could appeal to some, it reeks havoc on our ability to be patient!
Keep your cool!
And most certainly don’t come off as desperate!
Remember, it’s okay to be persistent. Just don’t be pushy!
➑ Be Genuine
Don’t be afraid to share something about yourself.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
People do business with people… NOT companies!
Let your contact get to know you… The real you!
Soon you’ll see some of your business relationships grow to a deeper, more fruitful level.
➒ Be A Giver, Not A Taker
Let your generosity flow!
If there’s any credence to the law of reciprocation it will all and more come back to you in one way shape or form.
But give for the right reasons without expectation of anything in return.
Allow yourself to experience the joy of giving!