How does one build business relationships? If you’re wondering what strategies you can implement to build long-lasting and beneficial relationships for your business, you’re in the right place.
Great business relationships don’t just happen.
You need to be strategic and channel your efforts in the right direction for it to happen.
Whether you’re looking to build business relationships with your clients or partners, there’s the right way to do it.
Fortunately, we’ll be exploring the key ingredients to every good business relationship and how to build one either with your client or partner.
Business Relationships; An Overview
Regardless of how great of a business idea you have, you’ll need people to achieve your business success.
You’ll need customers, employees, suppliers, partners, mentors, etc.
To put it clearly, people are one of the key components to business success.
This is why business relationships are a non-negotiable factor in business.
Besides this, there are other reasons why every business needs relationships.
Why It Is Important To Build Business Relationships; The Benefits
It Gives You Direct Access To Relevant Insight That Can Help Your Business
By building partnerships in business, you can discover valuable insight that would prove useful to your business.
Firstly, you can gain insight into your customer/clients on how to serve them better.
Depending on your relationship with them, you can ask them for honest reviews and feedback on your services.
Furthermore, they could voluntarily suggest ways they believe you could improve your business.
Some of these ways could reflect their deepest desires.
By implementing this feedback, you could positively turn things around in your business.
Similarly, you gain valuable insight from partners or business associates within the same industry.
Drawing from their wealth of experience in the industry, you can get some helpful advice on how to solve certain challenges in your business.
It’s Free Marketing For Your Business
This is another reason why building relationships in business is important.
When a customer is pleased with a business, they’ll tell their loved ones and everybody who cares to listen about that business.
This way, people you do not know find out about your business and eventually patronize you.
Likewise, your business partners could also help you promote your business to their network.
Above all, you can only enjoy this free word-of-mouth advertising when you’ve created a strong relationship with your clients or partners.
It Serves As A Cushion During Tough Times In Business
Tough times will undoubtedly come in business.
However, the relationships you’ve built over the years will go a long way in helping you bounce back quickly.
First off, having loyal customers who are ever willing to buy from you can quickly help you recover from financial losses in business.
Likewise, your business partners can also provide financial and emotional support in the event of financial losses in business.
Now you know why it’s important to build business relationships.
Overall, having a strong and healthy relationship with people directly related to your business will do your business more good than bad.
It could create new opportunities for growth in your business and make running your business easier.
However, there are certain non-negotiable factors that lead to a long-lasting business relationship.
What Makes A Good Business Relationship; 6 Key Ingredients
Honesty and Authenticity
These days, there are many businesses throwing promises of transformation out there.
However, only a few deliver on these promises.
More so, only those few who deliver on those promises will enjoy continued patronage.
In a nutshell, honesty and authenticity will set you apart from other businesses.
Honesty and authenticity work together to help you build strong relationships, with honesty being the foundation for all actions that guide the relationship.
Honesty is about being truthful and transparent.
Authenticity, on the other hand, also means being real and truthful.
As a business, this means being genuine in your dealings with your clients/partners.
It also means staying true to your core value and beliefs.
Overall, this will help you build trust and integrity, which will help strengthen relationships.
Effective communication is the foundation of all kinds of successful relationships, business or personal.
Most people mistake effective communication to mean just being clear and understandable.
It means way more than that.
Essentially, effective communication entails the following;
- Self-awareness; a deep understanding of yourself, your emotions, and behaviors
- Clarity; sending a clear message and receiving the actual meaning of the message.
- Empathy; being sensitive to your and the other party’s emotions.
- Active listening; paying attention.
Without these elements, the relationship could be threatned by misunderstandings.
It means being courteous and well-mannered when interacting with your clients or business partners.
Overall, respect needs to go both ways for the business relationship to work.
This is also another key ingredient for building business relationships.
Hardly any relationship can work without trust.
So, for business relationships to work as well, there must be trust between both parties involved.
Specifically, in a business partnership, business partners need to trust each other to look for each other’s best interests.
Likewise, in a client relationship, your clients need to trust your ability to deliver on your promise.
Ever heard the term, sharing is caring?
Well, it is indeed true even in business relationships, especially sharing with the intent to add value.
In business, you share valuable information that helps solve your clients’ problems.
Likewise, your clients also share valuable insight that can help you solve your problems.
Moreso, in business partnerships, partners share relevant information that can help push the business forward.
Keeping In Touch Constantly
Finally, constant communication is also necessary for building business relationships for several reasons.
It bridges the communication gap and keeps your business in your clients’ minds.
Also, it nurtures and strengthens the business relationship.
In all, these key ingredients mentioned above can be considered as the forces that strengthen business relationships.
With that in mind, let’s consider how you can build business relationships with your clients and partners.
Tips For Building Business Relationships With Your Clients
Here’s how to build a long-lasting business relationship, whether you’re a professional working with one client at a time or a business working with multiple clients at once.
1. Define The Purpose Of The Relationship
Every successful endeavor begins with a clear sense of purpose.
This is why you also need to clarify your reasons for building a business relationship with your clients.
Some business owners do it to;
- create a list of loyal customers they can consistently sell to
- increase customer engagement and brand loyalty
- to nurture cold leads into potential customers, etc.
Overall, ask yourself why you insist on taking this step in your business.
Once you’re clear on your purpose, you can begin building a relationship with your clients.
2. Study And Understand Your Clients
Most personal relationships begin with getting to know each other.
This is why you also need to study and understand your clients.
Doing this will help you to identify their specific needs and the best ways to meet those needs beyond their expectations.
Furthermore, it will help you understand their language (how they describe their pain points and desires).
It will also give you insight into their preferences and expectations about your business.
You can gather these insights by;
- Researching your target market
- Sending out surveys to your clients
- Asking directly.
In a nutshell, studying your clients will help you know who you’re dealing with and how best to relate to them, helping you build a working business relationship.
3. Genuinely Care About Your Clients’ Problems
Granted, you desire business relationships for the money the clients could bring into your business.
However, you need to learn to look beyond the money.
Aside from being your money bags, your clients are real human beings with real-life struggles/challenges that you can help them solve.
So, instead of focusing on the money, focus more on their problems and how you can help solve them.
This way, they’ll willingly give you their money to help them solve their problems.
Hence, don’t make your business all about you.
Instead, make it about them.
Also, prioritize solving their problems above the money you expect from them.
Finally, show them that you understand their emotions and pain.
Above all, showing that you truly care about your clients’ problems can help you build rapport and strengthen your relationship.
4. Communicate Clearly And Consistently
With dozens of businesses out there, it’s easy for your customers to forget that you exist.
This is why you need to nurture your client relationship through consistent communication.
Endeavor to keep in touch with your clients frequently.
However, it shouldn’t be too frequent so that it doesn’t become too annoying.
You could send them emails, texts, or calls telling them about your business’s latest updates and offers.
You could also talk to them about random topics they may be interested in.
In addition to that, your message should be clear and understandable.
Also, try to be friendly yet professional with your message.
More importantly, keep the lines of communication open so your clients can easily reach you because effective communication works both ways.
5. Focus On Delivering Value
Research reveals that 82% of customers will leave a business due to poor customer experience.
This means the better your customer services, the higher your chances of building long-lasting business relationships and retaining your customers.
So, you should focus on giving your customers the best experience with your business.
You can do this by offering excellent customer service and efficiently fulfilling your customers’ expectations.
This will improve your reputation and encourage repeated patronage.
6. Recieve And Implement Feedback
This is also necessary to help you grow your business and build a long-lasting business relationship with your clients.
Client feedback will help you understand what they like about your products/services.
Asking for feedback can help you identify ways you can improve.
More importantly, it proves to your clients that you value their opinions and have their best interests at heart.
Furthermore, implementing the feedback can also improve the customers’ experience with your business.
All of these can help strengthen the business relationship.
7. Be Authentic And Personal; Building Business Relationships
Every business is a reflection of the business owner’s personality.
This is why most businesses’ goals, vision, and work culture reflect the business leaders’ values and beliefs.
So, you need to let that personality shine in your interaction with your clients.
It will help your clients connect with your business on a deep and personal level.
Overall, being authentic will help you portray your real identity to your clients and also attract like-minded people to your business.
8. Reward Loyal Customers
This is another way to strengthen business relationships.
Your loyal customers will not only spend more, but they can bring in more potential customers through referrals.
You could give your local customers limited discounts or gifts.
Rewarding your customers will make them feel valued and encourage continued patronage.
Thus strengthening the business relationship.
9. Know When To Say Goodbye
As sad as this might sound, not all business relationships will work out.
Sometimes, regardless of how hard you try, some customers will never be satisfied with your work.
It will be best to let go of such clients to prevent further strain on the relationship and ruin your reputation.
Politely end the business relationship with problematic clients and move on with an open mind to new beneficial business relationships.
Aside from client relationships, you may also need to build relationships with business partners.
Let’s see how you can do that effectively.
Tips For Building Business Relationships With Your Business Partners Or Associates
10. Set Clear Goals For The Relationship
From the onset, you need to be clear on why you want to form a business partnership.
People build business partnerships for several reasons, such as;
- Financial support
- Access to relevant resources, skills, and expertise
- Access to a large audience
- Moral and physical support, etc.
So, you need to be clear on your expectations for the business partnership before even taking a step to find a business partner.
It will help you identify your ideal partner and what you need to do to establish the business partnership.
11. Ensure Your Interests/Visions Are Aligned
After gaining clarity on your goals for the partnership, you should also make sure that your potential partners’ interests align with yours.
For instance, if your goal is to gain financial support, make sure your partner’s goal is to invest in other people’s businesses in exchange for a certain percentage of the business profits.
This is necessary to avoid conflict of interests and misunderstanding.
It will also make working together smooth and efficient.
12. Be Transparent; Building Business Relationships
This is also very essential for building successful business partnerships.
Being transparent requires total honesty.
You’ll need to be honest and open to your partner.
Also, you’ll have to avoid withholding relevant information from your partner.
That way, you can win your partner’s trust and encourage the same behavior from your partner, ensuring a healthy business relationship.
13. Communicate Clearly And Effectively
As easy as this may sound, not everyone knows how to practice effective communication.
Furthermore, a lack of effective communication can lead to misunderstandings which may dissolve the business partnership.
To prevent this, you’ll need to communicate clearly and understandably.
Also, the medium of communication should be efficient and convenient for all parties involved in the business partnership.
Even more, there should be constant communication to pass relevant information timely and adequately.
14. Leverage Each Others Strength
Business partnerships can also increase efficiency and productivity if applied rightly.
Your partner’s strengths could be your weaknesses and vice versa.
Overall, with your combined efforts in the right direction, you can work together and achieve your goals.
15. Be Collaborative And Co-operative
Your business partnership won’t work if only one party puts in the effort to make it work.
There need to be collaborative and cooperative efforts to make the relationship work.
Depending on the partnership agreement, every part has a specified role or responsibility to fulfill.
When one party neglects that responsibility, the business could suffer, causing a strain on the business relationship.
So, both parties need to be fully committed to the relationship and put in the effort to make it work.
16. Know When To End The Relationship
Again, regardless of how much effort you put into the relationship, some relationships won’t last forever.
There are several reasons why you could end a relationship.
Sometimes it could be due to unforeseen circumstances that could make working together impossible.
Also, it could be that your efforts to make it work have proved abortive.
Whatever the case may be, recognize when to let go of an unhealthy partnership.
Final Words On Building Business Relationships
Building a long-lasting business relationship is achievable if you go about it the right way.
Hopefully, these tips will guide you to building healthy and beneficial business relationships.
Here’s to achieving your goals.