Five Steps to Building Successful Business Relationships - Azalea McKinney | The Solopreneur’s Best Friend™
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Five Steps to Building Successful Business Relationships

Five Steps to Building Successful Business Relationships

Hey Solopreneur’s…As the CEO of your business, you already encounter numerous relationships on a daily basis: with your business vendors; with your employees; with your customers; with your prospective customers; and with your local community. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to run any kind of profitable business without forming a variety of relationships.

Although we started off in business on our own, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that you need PEOPLE to grow your business.

Real success, the kind that exists on multiple levels, is impossible without building great relationships. Real success is impossible unless you treat other people with kindness, regard, and respect.

Here are five ways the to successfully build lasting, profitable relationships.

  1. Always Be Authentic

Have you heard the phrase, “Fake it till you make it”? Some believe that you need to replicate a certain style or mindset before you actually reach that level of success, but can you do that and still show your authentic self?

People want to connect with you. They want to know what your life is like. They want and need to relate to you on a personal level so that you become more real to them. If you are authentic with your image and what you post, they in turn will give you their trust and, likely their money.

If you fake it too much or are caught in a lie on social media, your image can come crashing down. Instead of being a likeable coach, you’ll have a reputation as being a fake or not walking the walk. If you want to be trustworthy, earn that trust by building your relationships based on integrity and honesty.

  1. Invest in Personal Development for yourself

As you build your network never forget that YOU are also part of someone’s network too.

So with that in mind:

  • What value do you bring to your network?
  • Have you made a choice to continually grow?
  • Are you trying to take more than your give?

Successful people like to be around successful people.  That means if you plan on finding yourself inside one of these social circles it’s important to have something of value to contribute.

Just look at any Instagram feed of a celebrity, or successful entrepreneur and you’ll see their comments filled with people who are trying to get something from them (such as an endorsement, a partnership or free consulting / coaching). And do you think this works? Of course not!

Now think about this – that same celebrity, or entrepreneur goes to work everyday and collaborates with other people who have developed their skills – and provide something of value.

And let’s face it, developing skills takes time – it’s not easy, but it’s a surefire way to finding yourself in the company of success.

  1. Listen Carefully

When building these relationships, remember that you are not the center of the universe. Even though you ultimately want people to purchase from you, new prospects will be leery of you until they get to know you. So preparing a sales pitch for any kind of networking event is a fruitless effort that will likely make people run from you.

Instead, show an interest in THEIR business or THEIR life. Once you ask one question, people naturally want to keep talking, especially if they are passionate about their industry and mission. Listen to them speak, tuck away interesting nuggets for a later time, and remember to send a follow up email the next business day, simply commenting how nice it was to meet them. At the next event, make a point of acknowledging them and start a new conversation.

This also applies to coaches who create products. Listen to what your audience wants and needs. What are they struggling with right now and how can you help them? Listening is a very important skill when it comes to business relationships as well as creating loyal customers.

  1. Be Intentional with your Actions

Nothing great happens by accident. It’s always intentional. Always.

Despite having a jammed packed schedule, I’ve always made it a priority to connect with my network and staff on a personal level. This can be as simple as an email thanking a member of my team for helping to wrap a project ahead of deadline, or as detailed as having a baby shower gift sent to someone in my network.

Either way, it’s intentional – which means planned and executed.

And thanks to today’s online tools it’s much easier to do this type of thing than you probably think.

Here’s a few ways you can be intentional about your relationship building:

  • Identify the top three people in your network and brainstorm ways on how you can deliver huge value to them. Keep in mind the most important point here is something THEY value.

  • Always acknowledge the life events of your network. This includes marriages, new additions to the family, career advancements and anything else of importance that may show up in your Facebook, or Twitter newsfeed.
  • Let’s think more ‘real-world’. Use your lunch, or breakfast time as an opportunity to connect with someone, by having them join your for a meal. It’s a great way to catch up while also taking a break from your workday.
  • Attend a seminar, or conference you wouldn’t normally go to. This will place you in a different context and force you to develop your social skills, and as a result, new relationships.
  • Set aside time each week to call a few people from your network, for the simple goal of just checking in to see how they’re doing.

So, there you have it. Five ways that you can focus in on to help develop successful relationships that matter.

Quite amazing at how much sheer common sense is included, isn’t it? This is my point, and the reason why I felt compelled to pen this blog post this morning when I woke up.

People have started to pick-up sloppy habits when it comes to developing the right type of friendships. They’ve started to take people way too much for granted – and as a result, get confused when those that they thought were their ‘friend’ let them down in one way or another.

Don’t let that happen to you. Be the person that enjoys your relationships and growing them – not just ‘using them’ for your own advantage.

  1. Share, Share, Share

Be careful…this does NOT mean to share too much information of a personal sort. This simply means keep sharing your knowledge, resources, free articles, and ebook chapters; anything that will be of value to your audience. By sharing information, you are building yourself up as an authority in that area of expertise and also showing what a kind and generous person you are. This evokes good emotions of happiness and kindness which, hopefully, meld with your online image and will endear you to many more prospects.

Building and maintaining contacts, allies and partnerships is a great way to improve the success rate of your business. Therefore, make time for this. Without it you are missing out on a great secret – the secret of building mutually reinforcing partnerships and alliances that are useful in times of trouble or prosperity.

Multipassionate Serial Entprepreneur, Azalea McKinney

Let me know in the comments, do you work well with others? What would you like to change?

Did you realize that as a Certified Business Strategist, I coach solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and small business owners on these very topics?  

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