According to a Harvard survey, people skills account for 85% of professional success. This means that relationship-building skills in business are key to success.
But there is a lot to know about building relationships in business. It’s not always easy, but it is worth the effort. The more you put into building strong relationships with your clients and partners, the more successful your business will be.
This article includes six tried-and-tested tips for building lasting relationships in business that are sure to improve your bottom line.
1. How To Build Trust in Business Relationships: Be Authentic
One of the reasons building relationships in business can be difficult is because making friends with your clients or partners isn’t always easy.
It takes time and effort to get them to like you, so it’s important not to waste this opportunity by pretending to be someone you’re not. If they realize that you are fake, trust will break down quickly, and their loyalty may disappear quickly. So focus on building strong connections based on honesty instead.
The best way to do this is through one-on-one touchpoints where there aren’t any distractions or interruptions. Think coffee meetings instead of conference calls, for example. This makes it easier for both parties to establish a real connection away from work pressures, which ultimately leads to stronger relationships.
When you are at the office, try to be honest with your interactions too. If someone asks you a question that makes you uncomfortable, own up and give them an answer they can respect. Don’t try to make yourself look better by lying about it. This builds trust quickly if done correctly.
2. Listen More, Talk Less
Did you know that the best people in conversations are also the best listeners?
If you want to build lasting relationships, then listening is a great place to start. Nobody likes talking on their own too much without someone else contributing.
So instead of dominating every conversation with your opinions and ideas, listen more often than you talk. This will help build trust because others will come away feeling heard and understood. And this can lead them to feel more open around you when they have something important to say next time.
So what do good listeners sound like? Here are some examples:
- Maintain eye contact
- Ask open-ended questions
- Use verbal and nonverbal cues
- Repeat and rephrase key points
- Take notes
When it’s your turn to speak, make sure you don’t interrupt the other person. And when you do get a chance to talk, keep your comments as brief as possible by focusing on main ideas only. This will help avoid misunderstandings and confusion that can damage strong relationships.
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3. Don’t Be Negative
Negativity is a real turn-off, and it can be difficult to build lasting relationships with someone who regularly complains about everything. It’s draining on the other person, and they will soon start looking for an excuse to escape your company.
Instead, try being more positive within business conversations. This helps you show that you are confident in whatever situation you find yourself in, which immediately gives off a better vibe compared to complaining all of the time. And if something goes wrong, then focus on finding solutions instead of dwelling on problems or failures.
So when faced with challenges at work, try not to complain straight away but ask questions like “What do we need to do?” instead so everyone stays constructive throughout the process.
Being positive builds trust because you are showing that you believe in yourself and others. And this encourages the people around you to be more confident, which can help grow your business faster.
Being positive isn’t always easy, though. There will inevitably be times when bad things happen within work conversations, and that’s okay. So when you feel yourself starting to complain, take a step back and focus on the positive instead.
4. Surround Yourself With the Right People
You don’t need to be in an actual group to build lasting relationships. Sometimes all you need is one person who can introduce you to others and help you find your way around.
The best people for this role are existing employees who know everyone and enjoy getting involved in new projects. They can make introductions quickly by checking networks and seeing how they could connect two different departments.
And because these types of connections already exist within organizations, it makes them easier than trying to create new connections yourself through cold calling or emailing someone out of the blue.
So think about who you already know within your organization, and then build lasting relationships with them. Ask if they could introduce you to other people in the business so you can all get involved in projects together.
5. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Social media is a great tool for building effective business relationships. It’s one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with people you meet at events or conferences, which means you can continue conversations outside of formal settings.
So share your blog posts on social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn to be available to everyone who might be interested in reading them. This helps build trust because you are sharing your knowledge with others.
And if anyone responds positively or shares their thoughts about what was written, make sure you reply quickly. This shows that there is mutual interest between both parties. That way, even simple comments become opportunities to build lasting relationships.
6. Invest in Business Automation
Business automation is the process of using software to complete business tasks that would otherwise be done manually. This includes things like sending emails, scheduling meetings, and other day-to-day operations within organizations.
While automation is great for improving productivity, it can also help build lasting relationships by facilitating communication between different departments or companies. So if someone needs information from another department before they can proceed with a project, then use automated systems to share what’s needed quickly.
Marketing and sales automation software is a great example of this. When someone fills out a lead generation form, the system automatically sends their information to other relevant departments to be followed up on quickly and easily.
This kind of automation helps build trust because your business is actively communicating with customers instead of always relying on them to reach out first.
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Importance of Building Relationships in Business
Strong relationships are important in business. And while they take time to build, you can use the right tools and tactics to help them grow faster than ever before.
The above tips for building relationships in business are tried-and-tested ways. So if you’re looking for a new way to bring your company closer together, then follow these tips and let the results speak for themselves.
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