Sunday, May 26, 2024
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4 Ways to Build Better Business Relationships

Business is all about who you know. Having a large network of associates, contacts, and industry bigwigs can help you to advance in your career and become a leader in your industry. But in order to be successful, you have to know how to build relationships.

It’s not enough to simply attend networking events and shake hands with as many people as you can. You need to form a bond with each person you interact with, leaving them with a lasting impression and the desire to stay in touch with you. In business, every interaction counts. You don’t know where the next business opportunity might come from. Whether you are schmoozing at an industry conference or liaising with a Chinese bearing manufacturer over the phone, you need to be thinking about the bigger picture and trying to form a relationship.

So how can you be better at the social side of business? Here are four tips to get you started.

Put yourself out there

The first step is to get out there and meet people. If you aren’t escaping your comfort zone and being seen by the people that matter, you are never going to expand your network. Attend as many industry events as you can and introduce yourself to people. But remember that it is the quality of interaction that matters, not the quantity. Try to avoid talking about yourself too much and try to focus on the other person. Exchange business cards or contact details and leave the conversation open to continuation in future.

Reach out to your contacts

We all have a huge stack of business cards from people we’ve met at events and never spoken to again. But it’s always good to keep in touch. Make sure you follow up after you meet a business contact, either by email or phone. Don’t let your network go cold on you. Send occasional emails or LinkedIn messages to check in and keep an eye on their activity. You never know when an opportunity might present itself to use them to your advantage.

Be confident

A little confidence can go a long way. If you come across as nervous and unsure of yourself, people aren’t going to be interested in getting to know you. But if you seem like a person who knows what they are doing and means business, people will gravitate towards you. Look in the mirror each day and practice positive self talk. Wear clothes that make you feel good and walk with your head held high. By acting as though you are confident, you will eventually feel the effect.

Add value

What do you offer that makes you worth talking to? Of course you want to promote your business or boost your status, but if you come across as too salesy, you’ll just push people away. Use your connections to provide value to people, in the form of education or advice. Give them a reason to join your circle, and be patient. In time you will reap the benefits of your relationship.

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