Small business owners tend to have one highly admired trait: they are all masters of building, cultivating and maintaining relationships. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that despite your productive service needs 24 hour attention, there are key people you need to constantly focus on these would include your customers, employees, suppliers and vendors and even in certain circumstances your competitors. The meandering path that running a small business will take means you need to take along for the journey loyal customers and viable vendor relationships that can help you weather the tough times.
The way the relationship works are the same whether it’s professional or personal, there has to be give and take. You have to be willing to be perceived as a sharer and a supporter and not just one that simply takes it all.
In a virgin blog, Neil Fogarty offers some critical advice about relationship building:
1. Before asking for something offer something. I am contacted weekly by people (strangers) and, within the first sentence, they ask me to introduce them to Richard Branson. Seriously, weekly! No hello; no explanation as to why just introduce me to Richard Branson. Am I likely to help?
2. Be a professional friend. Build a network; build a relationship but remember that the world sees everything that you do through the eyes of social media and search engines so retain your professionalism.
So it’s obvious that building long-lasting relationships are going to require skill, tact, knowledge and perseverance. If you are new to business it means you have got to prioritize and develop and apply those skills as soon as possible. Vkool.com posted a great article on business relationships and the knock-on effects on business operations. It offers 23 tips to show you how to build business relationships in a few minutes:
1. Set Goals.
Setting goals will help you assess whether an organization is right for you.
2. Communication Styles.
If you understand the style of your business partner, this will help you build a strong business relationship with him/her.
3. Be Authentic.
If you wish to influence others, it is important that you have a positive mindset and you know your key features in terms of strengths and weaknesses.
4. Nonverbal Communication.
If you understand the role and effectiveness of this communication type, and combine properly with the verbal type, you can make an impression to your partner and build a sustainable relationship with ease.
5. Business Relationships Can Turn Into Good Friendships.
Why not approach each and every person, including your colleagues, partners as potential long-term friends?
6. Focus On WE.
When having a business relationship, in order to get it stronger, you need to move from “I have all the answers” to “Together, we have all the answers.”
7. Focus On Giving.
Try to have a less Machiavellian attitude. Always think about how you can help people in your network.
It is very important for you to understand the boundaries of your partners as well as other people.
9. The Self.
Self-respect is a critical and vital building block that consolidates the relationships formation
10. Speak With Courage.
With a genuine concern for the relationship, be direct and honest.
Finding things in common with another person, even by mirroring and matching your body language to theirs, can help to create fertile ground on which to build trust.
12. Take It Offline.
Connecting on social media is a good start, but to truly foster a business relationship, you need to spend time face-to-face.
13. Identify Your 10 Best Relationships.
The starting yet important point to build better relationships is to recognize the ones you already have that are most important to you. Apply some criteria to find the most valuable relationship.
14. Culture Of The Company
In the global business era, employees can work for different companies with ease. Each enterprise has its own features, regulations, and culture.
15. Culture Of The Country.
For successfully integrating multicultural differences, you need to understand, respect, and articulate the differences of cultures.
16. Individual Vs Team.
If you cannot harmonize this, problems will happen instantly.
17. Make No Assumptions
This is difficult to accomplish but once you let go of assumptions, it is a powerful way to connect with someone.
18. Listen More.
Listening allows the partner feel valued, helps you identify their needs, and enables you to respond more creatively.
19. Don’t disregard the little guys.
The relationships you are building today, even those that seem inconsequential, are worth attention and care.
20. Stay True To Your Values.
In any business decision, it is better for you if you can choose proper solutions that fit your values, even if they are not the cheapest or easiest options.
21. Provide “Premium” Service.
Do you prioritize the actions that you offer to them? If not, you should. Keep your list in mind and make sure you are giving your premium level of service to everyone.
22. Provide More Value, More Often.
Great relationships need to be nurtured frequently. The best way to do this is by supplying the value.
23. Manage Time And Meet Deadlines.
There are numerous software packages and applications available to help with time tracking, and good old-fashioned calendars and diaries are great for planning your work and seeing how it relates to your other commitments.
Image credit via Vkool.com
Hayden Richards is Contributor of IntelligentHQ. He specialises in finance, trading, investment, and technology, with expertise in both buy-side, sell-side. Contributing and advising various global corporations, Hayden is a thought leader, researching on global regulatory subjects, digital, social media strategies and new trends for Businesses, Capital Markets and Financial Services.
Aside from the articles, interviews and content he writes for IntelligentHQ, Hayden is also a content curator for capital markets, analytic platforms and business industry emerging trends. An avid new media explorer Hayden is driven by a passion for business development, innovation, social business, Tech Trading, payments and eCommerce. A native Trinidadian, Hayden is also a veteran, having served with the Royal Air Force Reserves for the past 10 years.
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