Creating Quality Business Relationships That Last
When creating a business empire from scratch, one of the things you realize pretty quickly is that your customers matter. In fact, your customers and the ability to keep their loyalty are the very foundation of your business.
In short, relationships matter in order to create success.
It takes time, effort, and sometimes a little capital to create quality relationships in business, yet business owners simply don’t think they have the time to devote to creating them. Relationships are an integral part of your success, and your ability to develop lasting ones will affect the foundation of your current and future business ventures.
Relationships to consider when forming your business
Many of us busy professionals skim over what we would consider to be insignificant connections and focus on strengthening relationships with customers, yet many different people contribute to our success on a daily basis. Consider:
Vendor and supplier relationships. These important people keep your warehouse stocked, your website up and running, and the electricity on so that you can operate. Keep them happy; when it’s time to cash in on a special favor, someone that you have created a quality relationship with is far more likely to repay you in kind than someone you barely know because you haven’t prioritized getting to know them.
Employee relationships. Building a loyal network of supporters that work for you and people that you can create a shared vision with is essential to business success and longevity. Take care of your employees with benefits, fair working conditions, and an open door of communication, and they assist you in building the dream and sharing your vision.
Client and customer relationships. Building solid and trusting relationships with clients and customers, both existing and potential, are the foundation of business success. Be an interested listener; find out more about your target demographic and their needs, desires, and wishes concerning your product offerings. Make changes according to what they are asking for, and follow up with them to find out how satisfied they are with your relationship. Be open to criticism, and adapt to the needs of your target audience; keeping them happy will ensure that you are not only creating a loyal base of customers but adding to your circle of influence when these satisfied clients refer family and friends.
Every relationship you make could potentially have an impact on your business; you never know where connections might lead, or what opportunities may be presented to you as a result of fostering a connection. What can we do, then, to create quality relationships with everyone in our business network? Here are some tips for building relationships that stand the test of time and commerce:
Be authentic. Represent yourself authentically. Be who you are, and accept others for who they are. Today’s educated consumer can spot false information or pretentious airs a mile away, and they are more likely to enter business relationships with someone that they like and respect than someone whose motives must be questioned. Find people and companies that you share common goals and vision with; making connections over your commonalities will give you firm ground to establish your relationships on.
Embrace shared values and goals. We tend to seek out people that we have things in common with. Are they honest? Hardworking? Do they have integrity? Are they passionate about something we also have an interest in? Finding these shared items will give you natural connections, and allow you to create opportunities for learning even more about each other.
Foster mutual respect. Find things to appreciate about your relationships, and communicate your respect within them. Developing trust and respect does take time, it’s a process of honoring your commitments and requiring that others treat you the same way. Be selective in your approach, pay attention, and watch people as they interact with one another. Soon you will see people emerge that are worthy of your respect, time and attention.
Be vulnerable. People love stories, ways of connecting with you. They identify with stories of struggle and triumph over adversity; it is comforting to know that there is a human beneath that tough business exterior. The most successful business owners are approachable and vulnerable in all of their relationships; it puts people at ease and fosters natural communication from which strong connections are born.
Show your loyalty. The “I’ve got your back” approach works in business and in life. People want to know that you can be counted on and that in a pinch, you can be counted on to provide assistance. That kind of personal attention demands reciprocity; expect that if you are demonstrating your loyalty, that you will be repaid in kind. Loyalty is a strong building block for a successful relationship.
Make meaningful connections as a means of networking. One of the greatest compliments in a business is a referral. When thinking about networking, do so with integrity, having the best interests of all parties in mind when making connections. If you approach networking with utmost sincerity, then you no longer have to worry about what happens after you make the initial contact; you have done your best to bring people together who share similar goals and interests. You have no idea where these connections might lead for you or your business associates; keep all lines of communication open, as well as your ears to hear about opportunities for connecting two people who might profit from relationship building.
Get personal. Share something of yourself, take a risk and put some of your own history out there in your business relationships. Open yourself up to hear personal stories of others. Find out what is important to them. Strive to be of service to others. Doing so makes you more personable and more likable. You will be establishing a culture of mutual trust and respect with those that you share with.
Offer something before asking for something. Service is the new way to do business. Adding value to one’s life is a way to make an impression that makes you memorable in the minds of vendors, employees, and customers. When we can teach, inspire, and serve others, we create an impression that we are here to help. We are here in service; there is less pressure to make an immediate sale, and it places the power in the customer’s hands to make choices about who to form relationships with. Giving away promotions, free advice, and other items of value will inspire people to look, then to stay as you present them with a call to action.
Trust and respect: Two keys for long-lasting, quality relationships
It does take time to develop trusting and mutually respectful relationships, but what you get out of them is far more beneficial than any amount of time it takes to foster them. Following the Golden Rule of business and in life, treating others as you would wish to be treated, no matter how insignificant the interaction, should be the focus of how you build your business and design what will be lifelong relationships.
MaxGroup: Creating quality relationships every day!
At MaxGroup Business Solutions, our focus is on building your brand and representing you the way you want to be seen. We focus on the core values that are important to you when building your business, and we present them to your audience in a fresh, engaging, and compelling way. We provide customer service that is second to none to demonstrate that we walk our talk where relationships are concerned. We treat you just the way you want to be treated, and then we take it a step further! If you want to communicate with your customers in ways that make them feel heard, respected and valued, then look no further. MaxGroup Business Solutions will help you create the business--and the relationships--that you desire. Visit www.maxgroupbusiness.com today to take your relationship building to the next level. Here’s to your continued success!
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