How to build business relationships
No business is an island, as they say. Business to business (or B2B) relationships are essential for most companies, in most industries. The strength of your business’s business connections can make all the difference in our fast-paced competitive world.
Businesses are made up of people:
It is not just about striking the best B2B deal with a supplier or business client. That important, but even more important is creating, and maintaining, a good relationship with the people who are behind that great contract. You will find that all the same things that nurture good relationships in life can be applied to business relationships. However, certain things are peculiarly important in the B2B arena.
- Trust: Be trustworthy and demand the same from your business connections. Be transparent in your dealings and expect nothing less in return.
- Respect: You do not need to like your business connection (you aren’t dating), but you do need to respect them. Be worthy of respect in return. Remember – it is earned.
- Effort: be prepared to step up and do what needs to be done to meet the right people and build the relationships you need for success. Be prepared to take the time to attend trade shows, industry conferences and network, network, network. Do so even (or especially) with the people you are already working with! Let them introduce you to new players…
It has been said that more business deals are concluded on the golf course than in the boardroom. This could well be true. Luckily (for those who have neither the time nor the inclination to play golf), the putting green is not the only arena for make or break business deals.
Industry get togethers, from expos to product launches to B2B breakfasts, ‘meet and greet’ events and conferences, and from formal to fun, offer the best B2B relationship opportunities. That is where you can start to build relationship and create partnership. Applying the ‘rules of engagement’ above will help you maintain them.
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