In our rush to succeed in this spirited marketplace, it appears that consumers, vendors, employees, business colleagues, etc. have been reduced to mere account numbers, projects to be completed, Twitter followers, Facebook friends and email addresses. Yet, no matter how advanced the technology, business success is still dependent upon three key factors:
- Network – who you know and who knows you
- Reputation – what others know and think about you
- Relationships – how well others know you
The most important of these is relationships. Building relationships is a common-sense business-building strategy that easily gets lost in the quest for victory. Yet, it is the depth of the connections between you, as the business owner, and those you encounter, that dictate your reputation, as well as, the extent of your network.
What does it take to build long-term successful relationships that ultimately contribute to your success? After defining the kind of business relationships you desire, allow for thoughtful planning to consider a few straightforward approaches to deepening your business associations:
- Connect with key relationships on a quarterly basis.
- Continually add value to each relationship.
- Learn to contribute to others rather than seduce or hook them.
- Make relationships more important than results.
- Leverage your schedule to allow adequate space and sufficient time to expand relationships.
- Send thank you notes, birthday cards, and letters of congratulations.
- Be present when speaking with others whether it’s by phone, email, or in-person.
- Correct miscommunication immediately.
- Relate to others as you would like others to relate to you.
- Invest in your personal development to increase your personal capacity to relate.
Building business relationships furthers business, promotes referrals, facilitates mergers, expands your network, and builds your reputation. Your connectivity influences your productivity. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
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