Building strong relationships with your clients and with other businesses in your network can mean the difference between success and business failure. Your business cannot prosper without support from other people, customers, and businesses. This is possible only if you build and maintain proper relationships. The seven tips below will help you to create business success by strengthening your relationships.
1. Networking is the key to strong business relationships. Contacts form the lifeline of your business. Interact regularly with your existing and prospective customers, suppliers, partners, colleagues, contractors, and acquaintances. You can network personally or through various networking groups. It is not necessary to always deal and discuss only business matters. Your sincere efforts at pursuing and maintaining a relationship will repay your company more than any impersonal advertising can do.
2. Your business card is your identity. While networking, offer your business card to your clients and acquaintances. Your card should be professional in appearance and contain all of your contact details, including your telephone numbers, fax, e-mail address, and website. Exchanging cards forms the foundation of a business relationship. Always carry your card, even to social functions, and be prepared to give your card out when it is appropriate in the conversation.
Exchange business cards on every appropriate occasion. If possible, add a personal note to yourself on the back of the card about the person, where you met, and any questions the contact has about your business. When you collect a card, follow up with the new contact within a week. A business leader who is working on networking will maintain a collection of cards and contact details on a database.
3. Use email for simple communication. Email is a very simple and inexpensive way of communicating with your contacts. Send regular emails to your clients, even if there is no ongoing project. This helps others to remember your business and your expertise long after you have completed a assignment.
You could email an informative letter about industry trends or launch a new product or service your business is offering. After you first establish a contact, a simple email thanking your new contact for the time spent in talking with you and expanding on the services your business provides is appropriate.
Emailing is an effective viral marketing technique. Your clients and business contacts will forward your message to others who could be interested in your line of business.
4. Maintain a well-designed and professional website. Your business website should offer clear information of your business and provide easy to understand navigational directions. Clients should be able to move around and discover relevant information on your website with ease. Optimize your website with popular search terms to improve and increase web traffic. Always update your website with recent information and remove all outdated or unnecessary information.
You can even create an industry forum linked to your website to encourage business people within the industry to network online. This keeps people coming back to your website and establishes your company as the leader in the field. You will also be able to establish strong networking ties to the people contributing comments to your forum.
5. Socialize with Other Business Owners. You will meet many prospective clients at business gatherings. Attend conferences and industry events to network with other people who can assist your business to grow with mutually beneficial arrangements. Play golf, attend social or charity events, and generally socialize with your network of contacts to build and maintain your relationships.
Send emails to new clients providing answers to any queries, or offer to meet your new prospective client at any convenient place to discuss and elaborate on business matters. This helps to build a lasting business relationship. Follow up your emails with phone calls to cement and establish your relationship.
6. Remember Your Loyal Customers. You should always pay special attention to your regular and loyal clients. Your repeat clients offer greater business than new clients do. Your old clients are well aware of your capabilities and approach you when the need arises.
Offering your loyal customers special discounts and services will make the relationship stronger. It is not necessary to offer only business related benefits. You can offer coupons to any special social event, concerts, any upcoming celebrations, and passes to local attractions. You can also send birthday cards and greetings on other special occasions.
7. Remain Flexible and Overcome Obstacles. Remain flexible to maintain steadfast and successful business relationships. A business prospers through inputs from various people, including business partners, employees, mentors, clients, and your contemporaries. Never underestimate anybody and always remain courteous in your business dealings.
You may encounter many obstacles in your business. Being flexible enough to accommodate any delays, uncertainties, and upsets with good communication can build a congenial and effective business relationship with all people associated with your business as a whole.
Building strong business relationships is the key to building business success. You need to network and focus on building and maintaining your contact list to ensure people are talking about your business. Without building a wider customer base, and creating strong networks with other business people who can assist your business, your business will fail. Use the tools that you have, such as email, your business card, your website, and your business services to cement your relationships with your business contacts.Build Business Success by Building Strong Business Relationships
Ian is MD of edot3 a creative web design agency in the UK.