If you’re an entrepreneur, you already encounter numerous relationships on a daily basis: with your business vendors; with your contract workers or employees; with your customers; with your prospective customers; and with your connections on social media. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to run any kind of profitable business without forming a variety of relationships.
Your success is dependent on the relationships you make with others.
You could have a killer blog, high-quality content, and lots of traffic but the rapport you have with your connections is all about engaging in a conversation with them. People that have chosen you to connect with should be held in the highest regard. Once they have a great experience with you, they will be more likely to share you with others, bringing more potential customers.
You can implement these tips to build and maintain successful business relationships.
Always Be Authentic
Have you heard the phrase, “Fake it till you make it”? Some believe that you need to replicate a certain style or mindset before you actually reach that level of success, but can you do that and still show your authentic self?
People want to connect with you. They want to know what your life is like. They want and need to relate to you on a personal level so that you become more real to them. If you are authentic with your image and what you post, they in turn will give you their trust, and likely their money.
If you fake it too much or are caught in a lie on social media, your image can come crashing down. Instead of being a likeable person, you’ll have a reputation as being a fake or not walking the walk. If you want to be trustworthy, earn that trust by building your relationships based on integrity and honesty.
When building these relationships, remember that you are not the center of the universe. Even though you ultimately want people to purchase from you, new prospects will be leery of you until they get to know you. So preparing a sales pitch for any kind of networking event is a fruitless effort that will likely make people run from you. Likewise the equivalent on social media – direct messaging new contacts with your sales pitch will get you unfriended.
Instead, show an interest in THEIR business or THEIR life. Once you ask one question, people naturally want to keep talking, especially if they are passionate about their industry and mission. Listen to them speak, tuck away interesting nuggets for a later time, and remember to send a follow up message the next business day, simply commenting how nice it was to meet them. At the next event, make a point of acknowledging them and start a new conversation. On social media, comment on their posts.
This also applies to entrepreneurs who create products. Listen to what your audience wants and needs. What are they struggling with right now and how can you help them? Listening is a very important skill when it comes to business relationships as well as creating loyal customers.
Share, Share, Share
Be careful…this does NOT mean to share too much information of a personal sort. This simply means keep sharing your knowledge, resources, free articles, and ebook chapters; anything that will be of value to your audience. By sharing information, you are building yourself up as an authority in that area of expertise and also showing what a kind and generous person you are. This evokes good emotions of happiness and kindness which, hopefully, meld with your online image and will endear you to many more prospects.
Building solid relationships with the people you come into contact with can launch your business to places you never dreamed of. You will also be creating lifelong friendships that will be worth more than any amount of money. The key is to be yourself, and let your unique personality shine through to those you want to reach.