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How to Forge Great Business Relationships: A No-Nonsense Guide

business relationships

At the core of every successful business is an inner network of great relationships.

The people you know, the clients you obtain, and the community you build will ultimately be the deciding factor in the longevity of your business.

In this article, I want to share how you can begin forging these great relationships and why they matter more than some one-off social interaction – it’s about long-term success.

What makes a great relationship?

Have you ever wondered why you have the friends that you have?

It’s highly likely that your inner group of friends was created during the early ages of your schooling, college, or entry into a career/job. The early moment when you begin to step out of your comfort zone and open up to a relationship with a complete strange.

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In the world of business, there is little to no difference between your close friends and a client. There is an equal exchange of value whether it’s solely comfort knowing there’s something to talk to or that it’s built upon the back-and-forth nature of giving and take.

All great relationships start with an introduction of character – the moment that you decide the other individual aligns to your hopes, dreams, and goals.

Underneath it all, you’re helping another obtain something better. In business, your services aid your clients toward their success while their subscription to such services sets your own in motion.

The real test of a great relationship is when goals are realigned and venture in different directions. Great clients, like friends, will stay with you because of the history.

How to forge rewarding client relationships

You’ll likely notice that, in business, a good majority of your income will be the result of referrals and recommendations through your dearest associates, friends, and family. The people you connected with over the years have introduced the opportunity to land new clients.

If you were to begin to examine how relationships were formed then you can start seeing the underlying pattern as to how you’d go about gaining new clients in business.

Think about the following and how they may help you forge great business relationships:

  • Never pass on a great opportunity. You can argue that the first impression is the most important but before any interaction can happen – you need to decide that it needs to be initiated. You need to be actively seeking new, challenging individuals in your life. People need to align, in some way, to your goals but should be far enough removed that there is something worthwhile to offer otherwise you will lose connection due to stagnation and a dissolving of the need for another.
  • Offer first and ask nothing back. Great relationships, especially clients, start with some kind of value trade – generally in a one-way direction. Look back and you will notice that most of your best friends were found by some form of interaction that was leaned in their favor. Clients are found when they have a clear understanding of what you have to offer; don’t expect them to give back otherwise this interaction becomes a one-off event. Believe me, people remember when you do something amazing that aids in them completing their goals. We all have mental checklists.
  • Let your actions speak. In business, your actions will speak louder than your ad copy. You must show your skills but also explain the benefits of working together so both parties gain a valuable result. You get them one step of achieving their goal and they’ll get you one step closer to your own.
  • Get things done. Once both parties have committed to testing the bond of the client agreement (relationship) – do your absolute best to deliver. Waste no time in delivering great results, complete every task earlier than expected, be attentive to every small promise, and reaffirm that the product you’ve delivered meets (and beats) the expectation of the client.
  • Keep it warm. Use your down time to speak to your clients as if they were close friends. Follow up with the work you provided and ask if they have additional questions. Be present when they take steps toward their goals – they will remember your commitment to the cause and will recommend your services within a moments notice because you cared.

In time, each new individual you’ve provided this experience will add to your network. It may take years but the network will grow. A solid network of ten individuals that can’t speak highly enough of your services and good nature is far more powerful than thousands of passive followers.

I know this may sound very fluffy but it’s hard to nail the exact science of relationships. It really comes down to what you’re willing to put in – just as if you were finding your significant other.

There are moments of sacrifice and triumph.

Start from the center and work your way outward. Reach out to your close friends and aid them in starting their projects or own business by providing the information and services they need to get things going. Work your way outward to the fringe associations you’ve built over the years through work and education.

Allow your network to create new communities of opportunity.

Create a solid network that becomes your foundational portfolio and devoted followers. Use each new opportunity to take your value and skill to the next level. Always learn and pay attention to the human level of interaction and relationships.

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