Building Great Business Relationships
Don’t overlook the value of building great business relationships, sometimes they are really what keeps a business alive when others are failing.
If you’re in a business relationship with anyone – a client, vendor, or customer – how important is that relationship to you? Do you value the relationship? Do you want to nurture it?
A business relationship, like any relationship, is a two-way street. The expectations of both parties needs be clear and easily understandable.
Applying the Golden Rule is also a good idea: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
That is a very powerful statement, and one I try to practice in my daily life, both in business and personal matters.
Good communication is key for any business relationship to grow and thrive. Even when conflicts surface (and they will), keeping the lines of communication open at all times is extremely important. Meet conflicts head-on, no matter how frightening they may seem at the time. The sooner the issues are out on the table and dealt with, the sooner you can get back on track and back to business-as-usual.
Another thing to keep in mind is letting people know you appreciate them. Thank you notes, cards and e-mails are always a good idea, and they never go out of style. People love to be appreciated. If you are receiving great business from someone, always be sure to let them know. You will feel better for it, and so will they.
Another great idea is to reach out and "touch" your clients and customers on a regular basis by sending them monthly newsletters. This is a wonderful way to keep in touch, both to let them know you are thinking about them, and to remind them about you as well.
Remember, you get out of a great relationship what you put into it. Value those you do business with. Nurture the relationships, so they are always growing and prospering.
Keep this up and you will always have a garden full of healthy, happy business contacts.
© Cynthia Morse, Virtually At Your Service. All rights reserved.
Cynthia Morse CAP is a Virtual Assistant, and the owner of Virtually At Your Service, who offers remote administrative support to small business owners and other busy professionals from her home office, allowing them the time to focus on what they love and do best.
For more information go to http://www.virtuallyatyourservice.biz to receive her e-zine "Virtual Service Connection" for monthly tips and resources benefiting small business owners.
How to Build Great Business Relationships
Treat all events as a networking opportunity
All sorts of events are in effect networking ie meeting people to build mutually beneficial relationships. The networks we belong to can include schools, colleges, work, social life, small businesses, corporate businesses, family, neighbours, advisers or the church.
Project an image of warmth, approachability, understanding, knowledge, empathy, and an ability to engage with anyone. Above all be genuine. You should take an interest in everyone you meet, remember their name, listen acutely to them to understand their needs and how you could assist each other. Tact, reassurance and the building of trust are also the hallmarks and vital components of relationship building. Be relaxed and stay interesting.
Develop the ability to “small talk”
Being able to talk to anyone about anything is a valuable skill in its own right and essential in building great business relationships. Being able to initiate a conversation means you are more likely come into contact with people who may well turn out to be invaluable contacts. Small talk can be difficult but have a few stock phrases up your sleeve such as “How did you get started in?..?”, “What do you particularly need to succeed?” “Where are you going with it next???”
See also Personal & Business Networking