Building Business Relationships

November 1, 2017

Building Business Relationships

When it comes to a business network, a business should have a hand-picked group of qualified individuals the business can count on and rely on for support and tap into easily for support and direction. It’s important to find a healthy balance of being givers and takers. You can’t just give, and you can’t just take; you need both to be successful. Way too many people simply don’t ask for help when it’s needed, which can be detrimental to a small business.

Three main things are crucial for finding the right people and growing relationships with them - selectivity, consistency, and engagement.

There are some ways you can build successful, lasting business relationships in the current professional world.

  1. Always Be Authentic
    Pretty simple: be yourself, and accept who others are. Creating a false image - especially online - is pretty easy. However, this is the wrong way to enter any kind of relationship, and it’s usually short-lived when it comes to qualifying companies and individuals. Seek out companies and people with whom you feel a natural connection and easy communication about the things you have in common. Connecting personality, beliefs, and points of view holds an authenticity that can advance relationships.
  2. Discuss Shared Values And Goals
    Humans naturally seek out people who we like and with whom we share similar goals. We find ourselves asking the same questions each time: Is this person honest, kind, helpful, knowledgeable, etc? What do I observe about the way they treat others? This is where moral character comes in. Do we have a sense of respect for them? Sadly, I have witnessed way too many people present themselves one way and later take advantage of someone as soon as they have their trust. It’s not necessary to share the same point of view with someone, but it is necessary to share the same values.
  3. Establish Mutual Respect
    I have found that unless someone is referred to you by a trusted connection, establishing mutual respect takes time. It takes time and different experiences for us to prove ourselves to others. There are many environments to develop relationships, such as joining a chamber, professional group, or an online community. Remember to be patient, selective, and observe people in action. This is how you can build mutual respect, which is essential for developing growing relationships.
  4. Show Vulnerability
    We’re all human, and being human sometimes means sharing and supporting each other through challenges and change. Allowing ourselves to show vulnerability is simply part of authenticity. Just a word of caution: this vulnerability is best shared with a select few as opposed to publicly, so always use good judgment in this area.
  5. Have Their Back
    Show loyalty to others by assuring them you have their back. I have attended far too many events where gossip and unnecessary talks go down among  people that should know better. This can be tricky, but over the years I have selectively confronted certain people directly and kindly asked them to reconsider their words, after which I choose to stop interacting with them.
  6. Form Meaningful Networks
    There’s no higher form of flattery in the business world than a referral. However, not all referrals are successful. One should be intentional and well-motivated when trying to form connections among people. At the end of the day, it takes two to make it happen, so don’t take it upon yourself to do all the work. 
  7. Get Better Acquainted
    Getting to know someone better requires one-on-one time. Ask them to coffee or lunch so you can talk more personally. Learn about each other’s life, family, and professional history. Be willing to express points of view and share experiences and ideas.
  8. Do Something Fun!
    All work and no play is just dull! Be willing to take your team out and do something fun together that has nothing to do with work. Activities such as music, entertainment, art, and community events are all fun ways to see other sides of people, not to mention the memories and laughs that can ensue.
  9. Release Expectations
    Make sure to enter relationships open-minded, have realistic expectations, and never assume. In our minds, people are only who we think they are based on our interactions with them. One of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve gotten over the years is to accept who someone is, not who you want them to be. Holding onto preconceived expectations of others is a setup for disappointment. 
  10. Make Time For Brainstorming
    Schedule time to brainstorm, engage, and do business together. The best way to go about this is to set a regular time block, a time limit, and an agenda for what you hope to get done. Leaving some time for unexpected avenues of discussion is also wise.
  11. Make an Offer Before Making a Request
    In 2010, the website released a trend brief that focused on the idea that “serving is the new selling.” They merely gave a name on something that most of us already knew. This trend shift in sales and marketing is now the norm in business, content marketing, and social media. 

Anytime we educate, inspire, and help others with our expertise and experience, we build the foundation for trust that fuels enduring relationships. When we speak, do a workshop or a webinar, blog, write and E-book, or attend an event, we are serving. At Charter Electrical Estimating Services we do more than just estimating; we build your business.

Getting more focused and engaging on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks where communities gather and discuss ideas means we are serving and helping. This kind of serving and helping builds trust that is second to none, and trust is the key ingredient to building strong, lasting relationships. Putting in the time and effort is sure to result in results.

We are always here to help you further your company’s goals. Get in touch with us today!

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