Business relationships are just like any other human relationship, just a bit more formal. We humans are social animals and it is no different when it comes to business. Every entrepreneur is open to create business relationships but not all have the skill to develop them. Here we present you with four sure fire ways to assist in your relationship building efforts.

 

1.      Bring something to the table

When you look out to forge business relationships, always try and supplement your efforts by offering something in return. Would you entertain someone who has nothing to offer in exchange? When you approach people for a favour, make sure you have incentives to offer so that it turns out to be a fair deal for everyone. Be prepared for the most important question posed by clients, ‘What’s in it for me?’ You need to be able to answer this question convincingly to cement business relationships.

 

2.      Be approachable

How do you expect to grow your business circle if people are not aware of how to get in touch with you? This is the age of social media, so establish your presence on professional social networks like LinkedIn to get updates from your chosen business circles. Keep your overall behaviour warm and friendly as opposed to the grouchy look sported by some entrepreneurs. If you don’t want to have a conversation with someone, be polite and subtle in letting them know about it rather than dismissing them rudely. Also, always carry business cards on your person (even on vacation) as you never know when an opportunity pops up.

 

3.      Speech is silver, silence is golden

Agreed, that it’s an age old cliché, but nevertheless a true one. The key to gain helpful business insight and develop relationships is to talk less and listen more. This is a mistake most people make when they keep on yapping without hearing what others have to say.

Often during discussions you can very easily make out that who is the ‘butcher’. Butcher is a term used for a person who cuts up other’s sentences and opinions. How do you expect to build a relationship when you cannot be a part of a discussion? Being considerate about others’ opinions even if you don’t agree with them is a mark of respect and the first step towards a strong relationship.

 

4.      Be prepared

A famous quote by Abraham Lincoln reads, ‘If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe.’ What Honest Abe meant here is that preparation is the key to success. Scoring a meeting with the business house you have been waiting to pitch your proposal to, is not the end of it. If you want to make a lasting impression in your very first meeting, make sure you go prepared. Be it a local networking event or a meeting with a business reference; don’t let your clients catch you off guard with a volley of business queries.

 

Strong business relationships will help you sail even when the tide is not in your favour. So, get out there and make them happen!