It’s about time we all admit that doing business is nothing more than an ongoing relationship building exercise. When you are in business, there is nothing more important than relationship building. And there are plenty of relationships to keep alive: relationships with your team, your suppliers, your customers, and of course with your family, and friends. Countless times the quality of these relationships determine if you make or break it in business.
Creating and nurturing relationships can be a pleasure or a chore. But one thing is certain: growing your business relationships is one of the keys to achieving business success.
1. Keep in touch
This is as basic it gets – relationships become stronger when you stay in touch. Surprisingly, the rapid growth of technology has made the situation worse. Do you recall times when salespeople used to send follow up thank you cards for years after major purchases? Nowadays many don’t even stay in touch via email.
Standing out from the crowd becomes remarkably simple: keep in touch, even if it’s only via a bi-weekly email.
2. Add value
Another text book step not followed often enough. Every business has a lot to share with others. Way too often we forget that things that are simple for us internally could be big news and a real revelation for others, adding value to their business, knowledge, perhaps even changing lives.
So while you’re keeping in touch above, make sure to add value by creating content that shares your insider business knowledge where appropriate.
3. Proactively make new contacts
Having good relationships with your suppliers and customers is great, but this really isn’t enough. Because when you want to grow your business you have to step up and find ways to meet new people and build new relationships, without necessarily for the purpose of making a quick sale.
While there are many ways to meet business people, the two most common ones are networking and a direct approach through mail, phone, email, or social media (LinkedIn). I personally believe in the human touch and a personal introduction on the phone seems to be the most human and respectful way to start a business relationship. Creating a habit of contacting just 5 new business owners a day is all but guaranteed to make your business a success.
This is because sooner or later you’ll connect with someone who needs your service today. And for everyone else – they will know you and your business. If you follow the first step and keep in touch with them, then when the time is right they will remember you and come to you.
Following these three steps will ensure you keep your current list of contacts connected, engage new prospects with valuable content, and create a long-term strategy for adding new relationships to your network.
Every business owner is capable of doing the above three steps, they are simple, straightforward and easy to execute. The only thing stopping you now is time, and if you find yourself short on time – you can buy some of our time to do it for you. If you’re interested, reach out and we can do all of the above and more for you.