Anyone who’s followed my musings for very long knows that I consider relationships to be central to a successful, balanced life.
The same is true for business.
Read on to learn why relationships are important in life and business and how to build effective business and personal relationships.
Why Business Relationships Matter
You’ve probably heard the acronym KLT – meaning that people buy from those they:
To cause your prospects to know, like and trust you, you must build relationships with them in your business.
So you say this doesn’t apply to you since you’re not in the sales arm of your business? I beg to differ with that sentiment. You are in the sales business no matter where in your organization you work. You’re always selling yourself. To succeed in the business world, someone needs to know, like and trust you. Things will always work better and flow easier when your employees, colleagues, boss, contractors, and suppliers are on your side. That means the relationships you build in business will forever serve you well and make you more effective at whatever you do.
Strategies to Build Business Relationships
People who live their lives authentically won’t find this difficult.
Are you someone who always honors your word? If so, you do what you say you’ll do unless life gets in the way. When life gets in the way, you explain that you’ve been thrown off track. You don’t explain why- that sounds like an excuse, and nobody likes excuses. Just say you can’t be there as promised, and make a new commitment if appropriate. In any case, offer to do anything you can to compensate for your non-performance.
Never try to portray yourself as someone other than who you genuinely are.
That’s the central trait of authenticity – to communicate honestly in all things.
If you are the person described in these paragraphs, you’re well on your way to building effective relationships in business.
Some other essential habits that will make you a business relationship builder are:
- Listen – not to plan a reply, but to absorb fully what you’re hearing
- Take, and genuinely demonstrate, an interest in the people you associate with. Learn as much as you can about their lives, interests, families, etc.
- Learn to know and remember names – a person’s name is the sweetest sound in the world to them. Their spouse’s and children’s names are the second sweetest sounds.
- Communicate! Clear and correct speaking and writing are vital skills. A voice that’s pleasant to listen to is also a huge asset. Some people have this by nature; others can benefit from working with a voice coach. Whether you work to improve your voice, the other skills listed above are crucial.
Here’s an Example of the Difference Business Relationships Can Make
In the mid-2000s, a regional air freight company in New England was experiencing a severe morale problem. The 60 or so pilots working for the company were so unhappy that a union organizing effort was gaining ground.
The union movement was in the form of a website that entertained complaints from the pilots. The organizers were mining these complaints to build a case for unionization. In July 2007 the site was very active.
At that time, the company replaced the chief pilot. Together with his manager, the new man focused on clear communication with the pilots. He made sure no message from one of the pilots went unanswered for more than a few hours. He made a point of finding some aspect of performance to compliment one or more pilots on several times each week.
By Christmas 2007, activity on the website had died down to where it was closed.
That’s the difference building effective business relationships can make. Click here and here if you’d like to read more about this transformation. I happen to know this story very well since, before July 2007, I was the assistant chief pilot still flying a regular schedule. I became the new chief pilot in July 2007.
I wish you great success in building effective business relationships and improving your results. Follow similar advice to improve your personal relationships.
Note: Archived issues of The Unity Community are available here. Search that page for keywords representing your particular interest. Most articles offer suggestions for ways of improving business and personal relationships. Keep in mind that business is done by…people. Every business concern is essentially an inter-personal concern.
A “Shot in the Arm” Every Day!
Eric Lofholm, my friend, mentor and sales coach, hosts a 15-minute motivational call every business day. The call is at 7:45 AM Pacific time. Register for it here. You’ll find instructions on how to join the call on Facebook, Zoom, by phone, or in a recording you can access on your schedule.
Do you find relationships to be as important as I do? Want to talk about it? Reply to this message or click here if you’d like to chat by Zoom or phone.
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