The Power of Relationships in Business & How to Build Them
Without question, the greatest by-product of our business is the relationships we’ve built. Those relationships become a sort of ripple effect when we get to do one of our favorite things – refer our clients or partners to each other.
This has become a sort of company hobby. We’re in contact with so many different kinds of businesses, we can almost certainly introduce you to someone with whom you can enjoy a rewarding relationship, too.
Need new office furniture? We know where to send you!
Need a better phone system? We’ve got just the company for you!
What about graphic design, printing, marketing?
From dentistry to optometry, insurance to business coaching, utilities to cabinetry… You name it, we can probably direct you to a great business that has what you’re looking for.
As a client or partner of Lease 1 Financial, you can be sure we keep you in mind to refer to others, too. We sincerely want to help your business thrive – just like our tagline says.
The Value of Relationships in Business
People do business with people first. They tend to buy from people they know because there’s an element of trust involved. 83% of consumers say they trust the recommendations of friends and family, according to Nielsen (Source).
“In a competitive situation, being well-connected will give you an edge over other suppliers because you have an established relationship,” says Heather White, founder of Smarter Networking. “The act of turning up, engaging with people, leaving a great impression and staying in touch will give you those future business opportunities. And if you don’t build those relationships, someone else will.”
This is called networking. Did you just cringe? It’s a term many of us shy away from. But it doesn’t make sense to ignore or leave to chance the most valuable form of marketing out there.
4 Common Networking Myths
Networking is most often avoided or neglected because of common misconceptions.
1. I’m not a salesperson. Networking is too sales-y.
False. Networking is simply building relationships. It’s not the same as selling. If you’re selling anything, it’s yourself. Networking is just making connections with people.
Networking done right isn’t asking for business in an attempt to rake in revenue. It’s not about what you can get from people; it’s what you can give to people. It’s being a valuable member of your community and genuinely getting to know and help people.
2. I don’t have the personality for networking.
False. Every personality can network successfully because – once again – networking is simply building relationships. People build relationships. All people build relationships. The only requirement for networking well is to fully engage with the other person.
3. It’s only important for the business owner or managers to network.
False. Every person who works for your company is either building or damaging relationships. Every interaction between two people is an opportunity. You never know who you’ll meet, who they know and can connect you with, or what mutual benefit might exist.
4. I don’t have time for networking.
False. Are you imagining a big event or playing golf? Those are popular ways to network, but they certainly are not the only ways. Networking successfully requires a perspective shift. It becomes a lifestyle of connecting with others in day-to-day life.
How to Network Effectively
Get creative in your approach to connecting with people.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- When taking public transit, converse with the person sitting next to you instead of disappearing down the rabbit hole of the smartphone.
- Meet your neighbors. Get to know them. Find out what their interests are and what businesses they’re involved in.
- Seek advice and contacts from notable business people in your area or public figures. You lose nothing by asking.
- Organize brainstorming sessions with other local business owners.
- Join an entrepreneur peer group.
- Engage on social media.
- Have a phone conversation instead of a to-the-point email exchange.
Choose your staff carefully & train them well.
Because every interaction in business has the potential to build or damage a valuable relationship, you want to be selective in choosing the people representing your company. They must understand that, as a member of your team, their role goes beyond basic tasks according to a job description. Nurture a bigger vision in each of them and train them well in effective relationship building – within your company, with customers, and with business associates and partners.
Focus on “connecting” instead of “collecting”.
It’s easy to get caught up in numbers. Rather than focusing on the number of customers who walk through your doors, try strengthening the connections you make with each individual. A contact who feels connected to you in some way is more likely to remember you and spread the word about your business than someone who’s just another number on your list.
Connections Are Powerful
Meaningful connections strengthen your business. The market changes. Products fail. Demand fluctuates. All kinds of things can leave your business one step away from closing its doors. But the one thing you can maintain and continually build on – no matter what – is relationships.
Those connections can:
- Generate referrals to your business
- Open doors to new opportunities
- Teach you about your competitors
- Deepen your knowledge of your customers
- Supplement your market research
- Facilitate the sharing of valuable information
- Position you to influence others
- Strengthen the reputation of your brand, and
- Instill trust.
Not to mention, it’s just plain fun to turn strangers into friends!
So, let’s connect! We love hearing from you. Let us know how your business is doing or what you’re looking for. Who can we introduce you to? Let’s grow our networks together.