Good relationships are the foundation for good business. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs make it a priority to form strong connections with vendors, employees, and competitors as well as their customers. It’s almost impossible to have success as a business owner without solid relationships, however, when it comes to daily tasks, networking usually gets pushed down a busy entrepreneur’s ‘To Do’ list. Want to build better business relationships? Read our blog post below to learn more.
Prioritize Relationship Building
Keep track of your connections and make a point to reach out regularly. In fact, some entrepreneurs schedule time once a week to focus on their business relationships and connect with different people in their network. Recognizing the importance of these relationships – and spending time maintaining them – is the first step on the road to success. Send a quick email, share an article, or comment on a contact’s blog post.
It’s natural to want to share your strengths to try to impress others, however, it’s counterintuitive when it comes to fostering a business relationship. Instead, take the time to listen to the other person’s needs and desires, and look for ways that your skillset can compliment them. Taking the time to listen first will help set you apart from others in your field – and make people want to get to know you better.
Be a Helper
In a professional environment, people focus on building relationships with those who they think can help their career or their business. Instead of looking for people to help you, be a helper. By actively seeking out ways to help others, you’re inadvertently helping yourself, and building strong business relationships. If you can offer introductions, provide expertise or feedback, or help to promote a contact’s work, do it.
If you mess up, it’s ok to say so. In fact, admitting mistakes will give you a lot more credibility when it comes to building relationships. Often people just want to know that you’re sorry and that there’s a plan in place for getting the relationship back on track. Use these setbacks as an opportunity to show your integrity – it will probably help to grow your relationship.
Look for Common Goals and Values
It’s easy to make a connection with someone when you can find something that you have in common. By actively seeking out shared interests and values, you’re taking a business relationship to the next level. Plus, whatever interest you share can be a reason to continue the conversation, like sending a relevant article, or a recommendation for a new restaurant to try.
Connect in Person
When possible, meeting in person is the best way to grow a relationship. Look for opportunities to connect with your network in real life, such as in-person meetings, conferences, and industry events in order to continue to foster positive business relationships.
Say Thank You
If someone helps you out, always say thank you. You’d be surprised at how those two little words can have a big impact on your relationships. And don’t just send a quick email – a phone call or handwritten note will really show your gratitude, and cut through the clutter of online messages we receive daily.
It sounds simple, but when meeting people it’s best to be yourself. It’s better for the relationship in the long run if you are true to who you are and accept others for who they are. Seek out people who you feel a natural connection with – that authentic feeling can help to solidify the relationship more quickly.
Building strong relationships is vital when it comes to running a successful company. If you’re an entrepreneur in the Waterdown, Burlington, or Hamilton area, check out The Idea Room to connect with other small business owners near you. Contact us to learn more.