4 Tips for Building Stronger Business Relationships On and Offline

It’s no secret that people buy from people they like. That personal connection between a buyer and a seller happens after a business relationship is formed and nurtured. If you want to build stronger relationships that lead to more sales, here are four tips to get you started.

1. Seek Out Online Communities…

Whether you join a Facebook group or one of the many Slack communities emerging, seeking out an online community where you can rub elbows virtually with people in your line of work is critical. It’s here that conversations happen and relationships form. These are the new Chamber of Commerce breakfasts and evening networking events but they’re ones you can attend in your yoga pants at all hours of the day.

Online communities let you connect with like-minded people from all provinces and cities. They give you unique access to brain power and collaborative opportunities. Still, these relationships shouldn’t live online.

2. … Then Meet Those People Offline.

Face-to-face meetings are still paramount. It’s by looking someone in the eye, shaking their hand, and sharing a good belly laugh that you form a deeper relationship. As you meet more people digitally, it’s important you continue to still embrace the offline world. Schedule meetings with your virtual business friends while you’re traveling for work. Carve out lunch or coffee dates to bring these relationships off the Internet and into the real world.

3. Go the Extra Mile to Make People Smile.

As Maya Angelou so famously said, people may not remember exactly what you did or said but they will always remember how you made them feel. Regardless of whether or not you’re forming business relationships online or offline, bringing a smile to someone’s face goes a long way.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by sending a handwritten note or small gift around key dates, such as your business anniversary. This small gesture lets the person feel remembered and important. The next time they need something you have to offer, you’ll be more likely to float to the top of their mind.

4. Find Common Interests.

Too often, businesses focus exclusively on what the organization offers instead of the people behind it. This narrow focus is a lost opportunity. Instead, work on finding common ground. For example, if you share a love of running, talk about races in your area and training tips in addition to what you have to offer. The more personal you make the conversation, the more connected to you and your brand the person will feel.

Start Building.

Growth in business starts with the relationships you form. Place a heavier focus on creating stronger connections within your professional network and you’ll be sure to reap the benefits.

By Andrew Patricio

January 28, 2019