To a large extent, successful businesses are built on strong relationships. Of course, the quality of product or services you offer goes a long way to give your business a competitive edge. However, building good business relationships is important as well, especially if you wish to grow your business, get more loyal customers, retain current clients, and even uphold your business reputation. In this article, I will be discussing with you reasons why building good business relationships is important.
Let us dive right in.
One thing I have come to understand in my years as a business owner is that building professional relationships, especially with your clients and customers, is the key to building a trusted brand.
I truly believe that relationships are a necessity in business, and sales follow relationships. In this article, I will be sharing with you a few secrets on building good business relationships and why good business relationships are essential for a successful business.
How to Build Strong Relationships in Business
Asides building great client and customer relationships, you could also build relationships with employees and members of your tribe or community.
Below are the three (3) major types of professional business relationships and how you, as a business professional, can go about building them:
1. Relationships with Clients
Your business clients could be consultants, vendors, or partners. Experience has taught me the importance of establishing meaningful relationships with good external service providers. I mean, the fact that I pay for the service does not mean I should leave them underappreciated or even unappreciated. Cultivating the habit of establishing and maintaining a good relationship with them can go a long way to improve the productivity of your business.
One common mistake most business owners make is to set deadlines or goals that are unrealistic, which usually puts the client under pressure to deliver and even leaves them feeling defeated. To build a strong relationship with your clients, avoid overwhelming them with service deliverables. Work with them to achieve reasonable milestones and expectations. Most importantly, never underestimate the power of good communication.
2. Relationships with Employees
How often do you check-in with your employee? Not to see if they are meeting their targets, but to know how they are faring.
Employee engagement a great way to build a good business relationship with your employee, and It is important that you let your employees know how much you value their inputs and feedback.
The truth is nobody wants to work in a hostile or toxic environment. Employees need to enjoy the freedom of approaching you with their thoughts and problems without fear of being rebuked. Give your employees a sense of belonging. Make them feel a part of your team. Sometimes, they could have great ideas that could improve your business. So, seek their opinion. Listen to them.
3. Relationship with Customers
Customers, prospective customers, and even community members are more like the backbone of your business. You must understand how to connect with your customers on a personal level. If you must turn first-time customers to returning customers, and retain the loyalty of existing customers, then make it comfortable for them to communicate their views, desires, and expectations with you.
Here, demonstrating care and empathy is key. Be genuine in showing them how much you care about their satisfaction. Communicate with them regularly and be consistent in the way you do. Make sure you are listening to them and responding with solutions. Occasional rewards are also not a bad idea. The point is to treat them as Kings/Queens and make them happy often.
Benefits of Building Strong Relationships in Business
The most obvious benefit of building good business relationships is that it is a sure way to build trust and loyalty, especially with customers and clients. Cultivating the habit of adding a bit of personal touch and empathy to how you communicate with your clients, employees, and customer base can go a long way. If you do the research, you will also confirm that businesses that adopt this culture are usually more successful.
Building a good business relationship can give any business a competitive advantage, irrespective of the price difference with competitors. This is because as the relationship builds loyalty, happy clients do the campaigning for you and bring in new clients by way of referrals, which further translates to increased profitability.
Another interesting advantage of building strong business relationships is when issues go awry, which normally would have escalated. Handle and resolve these incidents QUICKLY with ease. If a good relationship already exists with the client or customer, even when things get them upset or dissatisfied, their first response will be to reach out to you. Perhaps, to vent their frustration, but also to talk things through with you.
My Personal Thoughts on Relationship Building in Business
In business, it is important to know that people love to be involved when they sense value that resonates with theirs. That is how partners are born from employees, customers, vendors or suppliers. And where there is a good business relationship, the possibilities and opportunities are endless.
My 31+ years of business have primarily been based on solid, true, genuine, and authentic relationships with all who are within the circle of my business, and beyond. I think, from experience, that if you have genuine business relationships, you attract valued people to your business, who then refer more sales to you, all because you have built a good business relationship with them.
Whether it is a personal or business relationship, I strongly believe that our Existence is a product of our Environments, Education, Experiences, and Exposures, which is why we should always Encourage and Elevate anyone in our circles of influence to become the best that they can be. Personally, I strive to nurture true, authentic, and valued relationships in business based on these 7Es.