Relationships are at the heart of all business transactions. Our working world is not only filled with relationships; it is driven by relationships, depends on relationships and much of our business success can be determined by the relationships we create and develop.
There are lots of relationships that need to be focused on, and many forget that it’s not just client or customer relationships that should be top of mind, but also the relationships we have with our staff, colleagues, suppliers, preferred partners, sponsors… the list goes on. Obviously, our relationships with our clients are of paramount importance, but the other relationships are also instrumental and without doubt attribute to our success.
Nurturing our clients is a vital necessity. We need to ensure we find out as much as possible regarding our potential clients’ needs, desires and areas of focus so that we can tailor and offer them the best possible solution for them. Our initial contact, first impression and the ability to build a rapport with a person can make or break a relationship, transaction or sale. It’s important to earn a client’s trust, enabling them to have faith in your offering so that they can understand the benefits and ‘what’s in it for them’! People usually do things for their own reasons, which is only natural, so it’s imperative that you find out their reasons and motives so that you can work to find the best solution for them.
Behind every successful business is a fantastic team of people who work together to deliver fruitful and productive outcomes. A great business will usually have strong, inspiring leaders and motivated staff with a clear direction. As a leader or manager, it’s important to surround yourself with the right people; employees with skills, knowledge and expertise to complement your own; and a team whom are keen to perform and who work together in harmony. It’s often said that a business is only as good as its people and this is so true.
Suppliers and preferred partners are also an important link in the chain, and should never be forgotten or taken for granted. Relationships with our suppliers are crucial, and even though we are their client, it’s very much a two way street and we can add tremendous value to them and vice versa. Explore opportunities to work with your suppliers or preferred partners on promotions, advertising, social media competitions or blogs – the possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination. Treasure and value these relationships as they are extremely important and beneficial to all involved. And always remember to thank the individuals and companies that support you. The above also applies to sponsors and sponsorship opportunities so that you can create support in this area.
Networking with other like-minded individuals or businesses within your local community or areas of expertise will provide you with other great relationship opportunities. This may open up areas for collaboration to work together for mutual benefit, something that can often be worth exploring. Making contacts and creating networking avenues allows you the opportunity to work together on numerous projects.
Building loyalty programs to increase repeat clients, implementing referral client programs to encourage people to ‘spread the word’ are other great relationship opportunities and business builders, so should always be considered.
Relationship building is a fundamental way to project your business forward and generate success. And don’t forget that it’s vital to focus on nurturing, creating or developing relationships with everyone you come into contact with; your clients or customers, prospective clients, staff, colleagues, suppliers, preferred partners and the local business community. Think of ways to focus on developing relationships in each of these areas and you’ll be sure to not only reap the business benefits but also make new friends along the way.