Building a business connection, like any relationship, is all about putting in the work to help it grow. It takes patience, time, and intention to forge meaningful bonds with professionals and if you’re not willing to invest that time into someone, they won’t want to invest it in you.
This week we’re looking at the art of creating long-lasting and fruitful business relationships. These tips will not only help you to establish solid business rapport with just about anyone, but truthfully, they’re also great habits that can help transform the way you interact with your friends and family as well.
If you’re looking to get more out of your professional relationships and start forging real connections with your peers, let’s dive in!
1. Remember the Details
The first place to start when it comes to building better business relationships is to remember the details. People never like to feel undervalued or ignored and you would be amazed how far a “how is your funding campaign going” or “how’s your son’s football team doing” can go.
For some, this is a trait that comes naturally but for most of us it’s something we need to work towards. If your memory isn’t your strong suit, get in the habit of writing things down when you meet someone new. If you’re hopping on a phone call with someone, jot down notes throughout the call. If you meet with someone in person, ask if they mind you taking notes and write things down. Of course, there will always be times when it’s not appropriate to take notes and in those situations it’s best to latch onto 2 – 3 key details. Then when the event or meeting wraps up, dedicate a half-hour to jot down everything else you can remember.
Now it’s not enough to just take notes, you’ll have to use them. Whenever you’re scheduled to meet someone, take a bit of time to review your notes and identify a few topics to work into the discussion. Including things from their business and personal life that are important to them will make you stand out and show that you’re serious about the relationship.
2. Respect People’s Time
The next critical tip for building strong business relationships is be very, very, very, respectful of people’s time. This is especially important if you’re having a one-on-one meeting or attending an event where things can’t start until you arrive. If you’ve got a call at one o’clock, make the call at one o’clock, if you’ve got a meeting that requires your input to proceed, be prepared and ready right at the beginning.
A great habit to get in to is arriving places early. When travelling, leave a healthy amount of buffer time just in case something goes wrong. Everyone will have a different comfort level but generally 15 minutes will set you up for success. People notice if you’re late, even if it’s by 5 or 10 minutes, and the truth is that negative impression can damage new (or existing) business relationships beyond repair.
3. Make Introductions, Bring People In
Our third and final tip is all about networking and revolves around introducing people and bringing relevant people into the conversation. If you can become a connector in a small group, people will start to take notice and will look to you as an important person to be connected to. Getting people involved not only helps with ideation and general discussions, but also can help to elevate your group as a whole, which is another trait people notice and appreciate.
There is a simple trick you can use to become a better ‘connector’. If you’re ever in a group setting and you happen to know most of the participants, take a minute and ask people if they know each other. From there start making a few introductions and before you know it you’ll people will be forging their own connections but remembering you as the one who kicked things off.
So, there you have it, 3 tips that can help you build better business relationships. You might not be perfect at all of them right away, but with a bit of practice anybody can take advantage of them and start making better business connections.
Are there any business relationship building tactics you use to make connections? Is there anything your peers have done that really made them stand out to you? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below and if you’re looking for more great content follow PAYFORT on Twitter for the latest updates!