When most people think of the importance of building relationships, they tend to think of either business or personal relationships. In addition, when they do think of both types of relationships, they often feel like the work that goes into building one is very different from the kind of work that goes into another. The truth is, however, that relationships are relationships and both business and personal relationships need many of the same things to thrive and be healthy. Here are three tips to strengthening relationships with your business partners.
Listening is probably the most important relational skill you can learn, build, or develop. Using it will also help strengthen both business and personal relationships. Listening can help you understand the myriad needs of customers, clients, partners, associates, employees, and even vendors. By positioning yourself to best meet the needs of those around you by knowing exactly what they are, you poise yourself for success in almost any endeavor.
Say “thank you”
Whether it is saying thank you to your clients or customers for being great clients or customers, thanking your vendors for being great partners, or thanking your mentors and colleagues for their support, a little gratitude can go a long way towards building and maintaining strong relationships. The truth is, loyal customers are worth their weight in gold and it never hurts to acknowledge that. Acknowledging the hard work of your employees on a regular basis will give them the incentive to go above and beyond when the need arises. Letting your mentors and associates know how much you appreciate them can help create strong bonds that will stand the test of time. The storms of life will always come eventually, so building strong ties before you get there will help you sail through to calmer waters.
Remember important events
The strongest connections with people are built by remembering things that are important to them. Whether it is remembering the birthday of your customers and clients, the anniversary of a colleague or even special dates and anniversaries of your employees, showing that you see, know and care about what is important to them can go a long way towards building strong relationships. Best of all, you don’t even have to remember them all. With a calendar app or program, you can enter the information once and either get a reminder or even send an automatic email.