7 ways to build strong, solid, lasting business relationships

Building positive business relationships isn’t as difficult as some would have you believe. Despite all the effort put into establishing unmatched sales strategies and cutting-edge corporate negotiation techniques, business relationships are still one of the best ways to build a better business.

There’s a slight twist to it though. The characteristics that serve you well in business also serve you well in life. Businesspeople are, for the most part, ordinary people. More than a slick sales image and frightening doublespeak, a true feeling of empathy and accessibility will get you far.

Here are seven top tips for building strong, lasting business relationships.

1. Establish a positive work ethic

The ethics and principles of the people who lead your business will typically be reflected in their interactions. Aim to be transparent, fair, and honest. Positive leadership will instil positive traits throughout the business. If you establish the values you aspire to early on, they will become ingrained in your business development and sales teams, and they’ll grow with you as your business grows.

2. Be aware of your value proposition

Everything else falls into place when you’re producing actual value and have a unique offering as a business. Larger organisations in your industry are more likely to notice you. You never have to exaggerate your importance if you’re providing true value to people you can talk to.

3. Find a win-win situation for both sides

Business partnerships that work well are mutually beneficial. When you accept that a contract will eventually fall apart if the economics are tilted too far toward one party and the best negotiations are those that help all parties, you can begin to develop successful relationships. The fairest arrangement is always the one that provides the most value to both parties.

4. Adopt a modest approach

In the business world, humility always wins out over arrogance. Your partners will enjoy being treated with honesty and forthrightness. Humility requires being respectful, sincere, and forthright. It’s a crucial quality that will help you gain a lot of respect in business.

5. Accept yourself for who you are

People often put on a sales-oriented character that doesn’t reflect their true selves. Don’t be tempted to do this; you’ll quickly be discovered by experienced counterparts. By default, you’ll be more productive and relatable to others if you work inside the context of your own character. It’s important that you embrace the fundamental traits of your personality, whatever they are.

6. Keep expectations in check

Be open and honest with your partners about what you believe are the best-case scenarios and how business realities don’t always line up with them. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep both sets of expectations in check. Surprising delights are always preferable to painful disappointments.

7. Maintain open lines of communication

The most crucial consideration after the business terms have been established is to keep the lines of communication open. It’s important that your partners know that they can pick up the phone and reach you if things start to go wrong. Human interaction is an excellent technique to defuse tension. When you’re communicating through intermediaries, it’s difficult to be open and honest about problems in the relationship.

10 Business Relationship Building Mistakes to Avoid

With all this effort and reward, there must be some potential drawbacks, right? People make a lot of errors, so try to steer clear of the following ten common business relationship building mistakes.

1. It is not personal

Some people are completely focused on their work. Many aren’t even aware that they’re doing it; it’s often unintentional, and most individuals would be embarrassed if they recognised this behaviour in themselves. Always keep in mind that you’re attempting to establish a mutually beneficial relationship so be sincere. Demonstrate an interest in people’s occupations, family, and shared hobbies.

2. A failure to express gratitude

Everyone wants to know that their efforts are recognised and valued. It’s easy to overlook someone who offers you a job or goes out of their way to assist you with an issue. Make an effort to express thanks for what others do for you, and they’ll be more likely to assist you if you need help at some point.

3. Ignoring the need to update

Keep someone updated on how things are going after they help you in securing a job or addressing another difficulty. Let others know how they helped you succeed, whether it was by putting you in touch with the hiring manager or serving as a reference. Demonstrate that you will not forget them the minute you have got what you want out of the relationship.

4. A lack of consistency

People need to have confidence that your intentions are genuine and that you, as a person, are genuine. They will question your authenticity if you treat some people well and others badly.  They may believe you are sucking up to them or deceiving them. When you treat everyone equally, you come across as honest and heartfelt.

5. Behaving in an unprofessional manner when things go wrong

When the dam bursts, don’t overreact or point the finger at others. If things go wrong, be honest about it and try hard to resolve the problem. In difficult times, being a constructive team player reveals your genuine character. If things are falling apart around you and it isn’t your fault, instead of playing the blame game, invest your effort into finding a solution.

6. Failing to accept responsibility for your mistakes

Demonstrating your ability to be accountable is an important part of building trust. If you make a mistake, own up to it. People recognise that mistakes happen but concealing errors can harm your relationships in the long run.

7. A lack of dependability

You can really upset people when you’re unreliable. Don’t be late for meetings, and don’t break promises. These blunders can be costly to your business relationships. After all, you are only as good as your word.

8. Saying things without thinking

Everyone has experienced the odd slip of the tongue, but you should avoid them when forming a relationship. In the long term, a little word out of turn might prove costly. At networking events you are promoting yourself regardless of where you are or who you are with, so be professional. Furthermore, avoid speaking negatively about someone behind their back, as it’s never a good look.

9. Associating with unscrupulous people

The company you keep will determine how you are perceived. If your acquaintances or business contacts have a murky reputation or a history of dishonesty, you’ll risk burning bridges with others.

10. Keeping your cards too close to your chest

When dealing with co-workers, business partners, and clients, be as open as possible. If you’re found to be lying or concealing someone else’s secrets, you’ve broken a trust that may be difficult to re-establish. If you appear to have hidden agendas, you risk losing the trust of others.

Strong business relationships require a lot of work. But if you’re not careful, they can be destroyed instantly. Avoiding these 10 business relationship building mistakes will help you preserve your key businsess relationship.

While you work on building strong business relationships, let us take care of your business insurance*. We’ll do the shopping around for you, saving you the time and hassle typically involved in purchasing business insurance. Because at BizCover, we’re anything but a typical business insurance provider. Go online or give us a bell on 1300 920 864 to find out how we can help protect your business.

*This information is general only and does not consider your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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