Successful Business Relationships Tips & Techniques:
Becky S. Corbett, MSW, ACSW & Emily Tevault, MBA
BSCorbett Consulting (BSC) focuses our services and products around: Business. Solutions. Connections. Successful business relationships are built on connections. When you think about the type of people you have relationships with, clients may be the first one that comes to mind. They also include colleagues, supervisors, mentors, business partners/collaborators, professional service providers and vendors. Below are tips and techniques to support you with successfully building and maintaining all of your business relationships.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. – John C. Maxwell
#1 – Invest in People
Invest time in building the relationship. It doesn’t happen overnight. People need to know you care about them as a person. Be present in the moment and listen so you get to know them. Understand and learn their strengths, how they work best and their behavioral preferences. Tools that support awareness include Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®), StrengthsFinder and DiSC®.
#2 – Build on Trust
People do business with people they know, like and trust. Trust is the foundation for all relationships. Focusing on and developing your character allows you to establish trust. You cannot ask or expect people to follow you if they don’t trust and respect you. Ask yourself, “Would I do business with ME?”
#3 – Establish the Why
When you are developing a business relationship, focus on the why. Ask yourself, “Why do I want this connection?” Identify who you need and explain the why to the individual or organization to make a solid connection. When forming a team, make sure everyone understands the why. Complete the sentence, “The team was brought together for the purpose of/for this project because…”
#4 – Bring the Right People to the Table
When considering a new business relationship, complete research to find the most qualified people. Conduct a virtual search to determine if they are known in the industry, talk to references and ask questions about their character, deliverables and outcomes. Once you have determined the right people, bringing them together creates synergies; a combined effect greater than the sum of its parts.
#5 – Provide 360o Communication
Communicating with others demonstrates that you care about the relationship. Provide 360o communication by keeping everyone in the loop. Include all parties involved in what you are communicating, ask questions, listen and confirm what you have said has been understood. When implementing 360o communication, remember:
- Document a structure for how and when to communicate.
- Don’t hide behind technology; walk to your colleague’s office or pick up the telephone.
- Read non-verbal cues.
- Provide a partial update—it is better than no update.
#6 – Take A Positive Stance to Challenges
Relationships will encounter challenges. When difficulties arise, chose to frame things in the positive and avoid harping on what is wrong. Remind yourself why this relationship is important to you and find common ground.
#7 – Be Accountable
You build credibility when you deliver to others and do what you say you will do. Be accountable to one another. Take ownership, admit mistakes and clarify roles, deliverables, deadlines and next steps. Provide coachable moments and reflect on what you have learned to continue to grow the relationship.
#8 – Express Gratitude
Take time to express gratitude to your business associates. A hand written thank you note, telephone call, testimonial or a public thank you goes a long way. Sincere and thoughtful appreciation lets them know how much they are valued.
#9 – Foster Long-Term Relationships
A successful business connection is more than a one-time transaction. It is a commitment to support one another throughout your careers with expertise, encouragement, connections and collaboration. Build each relationship for the long-term; beyond one sale or project.
#10 – Live, “Good People Connect with Good People”
Becky always says, good people connect with good people. Add value by sharing your network with others. Take the time to introduce business associates who may have connections. You will be amazed how much the two individuals appreciate you expanding their resources.
Taking the time to create connections allows you to build long-term, successful business relationships. How do you create strong connections with others? Share your thoughts and experiences, join the conversation below.
It’s all about relationships. – Becky S. Corbett
Website: Great Leadership Begins with Trust, The Ken Blanchard Companies
Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, John C. Maxwell
The Speed of Trust: The one thing that changes everything, Stephen M.R. Covey