In any business, relationship building is key. Once upon a time, the act of doing business was transactional. A business offered a product which a consumer then purchased. However, as time has passed business has become much more about the relationships between entrepreneur and client, business and business.
There are a number of ways to grow and improve these relationships. Below are just a few.
Be a friend – Build a Network
“Networking” has been the watchword of the corporate world for many years now. Networking serves a multitude of purposes including increasing a client base, making beneficial connections for potential future business dealings and increasing brand awareness. When making new business connections don’t be miserly with your network. Introduce new friends to old friends and clients. Let these connections work on their own. In short, be a relationship broker amongst your clients and friends. They will be grateful for the generosity.
Give more than you Receive
Continuing in the spirit of generosity, business relationships should be far more give than take. No one enjoys dealing with that person who can be counted on to ask for a favor every time they call. While it’s perfectly fine to take advantage of relationships in a time of need, avoid doing so on a consistent basis.
Be culturally sensitive
This is also sometimes called “emotional intelligence” and is simply a part of doing business in the modern world. While no one can be 100% perfect all the time, take steps to consider the diversity of your associates and how that affects your dealings with them. The most notable instance is that of religious holidays. However, there are many nuances to dealing in a multicultural world. For instance, in English speaking countries, the same word can have multiple meanings and uses. Slang can become particularly tricky in these instances. Simply keeping in mind our differences will go a long way.
Simply put; deliver on your promises. Consistent failure to follow through makes a business or person appear unreliable. No one wants to work with someone who cannot be counted on. In relationships, particularly new ones, it is easy to get carried away with promises. Be mindful of what you are actually capable of delivering and refrain from overcommitting.
Ultimately, no matter how diligent or intuitive or generous one may be, something will go wrong. It’s inevitable. When this happens, people usually respond in one of two ways. Some will avoid admitting any fault, making excuses and shifting blame. Others will take responsibility for the failure. Truly successful people will admit their mistakes and, as a result, are likely to retain the respect of their peers. Everyone is going to make mistakes from time to time. Simply accepting fault when it is due speaks volumes about a person’s character.
Keeping these simple things in mind will help improve those pivotal relationships that keep businesses running smoothly.