Are you loved or just “liked”?
In the business world, there is more and more of a shift and emphasis to building deeper and highly engaged relationships and less transactional ones, but does this happen in reality?
With the plethora of tools and platforms that enable us to “do business”, we are able to connect and communicate with ease. You can meet, speak and connect with almost anyone, anytime, anywhere, but do you recognize the difference between virtual and physical engagement and how that impacts your business relationships?
The reality of life is that you reap what you sow and get out what you put in. You and your company’s culture and values, coupled with how much effort you put in, will dictate the quality of the relationships you form and develop and how successful they become.
I know many businesses that have many thousands of what they refer to as partners, but this is an impossibility to create and manage. You’d need an army of people to tend to the relationships to maximise the opportunities. It’s a bit like the social media “friends” we all have. Sure, you have lots of connections, but who do you really call a friend. The reality is that most relationships are superficial and tactical and quite often do not live up to what you expected.
Doing business with people you like, trust and enjoy is a pleasure and the panacea we seek in building relationships. In my business life I constantly seek out PLU’s….”People Like Us” and I try to be selective with who I work with. This is not arrogance, but confidence in myself and my values. It’s what I want to live up to and do for the people around me and it’s mutual. I can give and get so much more in a relationship if I really enjoy the people I work with. If there is trust, respect and a likeability/chemistry, then things will just naturally work better. We’ll do more together, have more fun and importantly we’ll want to do more for each other.
Just like you choose your friends, you can choose who you do business with, so I would advocate 10 top tips that you should consider in the business relationships you seek:
- Meet and engage with people you “hit it off with” straight away; recognize chemistry.
- Build trust at the outset and do what you say; be authentic.
- Have integrity; if nothing else, you’ll definitely sleep better!
- Business is business, but it’s also personal, so get to know the people you work with and be passionate about what you do.
- Find common interests and shared values, perhaps not related to business.
- Engage regularly and don’t communicate in a “fire and forget” way with emails and social messaging.
- Meet people face to face and build the relationship and not the transaction.
- Don’t always have an objective when you speak to people; chill out, relax and be human!
- Sharing is caring, so build a reputation as a “giver” and the reciprocation will happen
- Good relationships take time and effort, so try not to force an outcome too quickly or assume too much.
Your reputation is your business, so set yourself a goal for the year ahead, to forge stronger and more genuine relationships with the people who you really want to do business with; it’s much easier and far more fulfilling, I promise!!