The best way to build long-lasting business relationships is to participate in the group or communities that the members participate in. You need to know how to get into any group, fit in, and get to know your customers and clients in a whole new way. It’s no longer good enough to just sell them something and then move on. Now you need to cultivate relationships that ensure that the relationship lasts longer.
Before ever asking anyone you meet for a favor, always do things for them first. Freely give of yourself to people and they will remember you. If you’ve done a good job letting them know what you offer, they’ll come to you when they’re ready
It’s especially important to remember that social media is part of the way you communicate professionally today. You need to keep the things you share business-like, avoiding personal oversharing or inappropriate sharing.
Practice Your Elevator Speech
Some people object to calling it that, but it’s just a way to say that you should be prepared with a short way of introducing yourself, your business, and what you do for people. Be sure to frame it with the benefits for the client instead of making it all about you.
Be Honest and Ethical
It can be a dog-eat-dog world out there, and you’ll have to compete with a lot of unethical people. But, keep your own morals and don’t cross those legal and ethical boundaries just to get business.
Do What You Say You Will Do
Don’t volunteer to do things you don’t have time to do. If someone asks you to do something and you simply can’t do it due to a time crunch or something, say so. But, when you say you will do it, do it, and do it to the best of your ability.
Don’t Monopolize Anyone’s Time
We’ve all met the person who talks too much, or the person who doesn’t talk at all, or the person who sticks by one person at an event. Don’t be that person. Instead, learn to converse intelligently and appropriately with a variety of people.
When someone new wants to join the group, be welcoming and open to them. Sometimes groups can become cliquish, and it can cause serious problems with the group. Not allowing new people in and making them feel like they belong can make a group stagnant.
Listen a Lot
You’ve heard the saying, “You have two ears and one mouth for a reason”? Well, it’s true. Use this as your guide to listen twice as much as you talk. Sometimes talking too much is a sign of nervousness; if you can focus more on what people are saying than what you want to say, you can also calm your nervousness.
Building long-lasting relationships takes time in business and in your personal life. Both have many of the same characteristics for success. Be yourself, be honest, listen, and be helpful. But, don’t overshare or act in an unprofessional manner. If you want business relationships to be fruitful, they have to trust you, so be trustworthy.