As a business owner you have undoubtedly heard how important it is to build relationships. In fact, you may have heard how important it is to build authentic business relationships.
The problem is a lot of people, and maybe you, don’t know how to build lasting relationships throughout life. As a result, you end up leaving money on the table because you haven’t made any real connections.
Fortunately, building authentic business relationships really isn’t that hard. I often refer to it as “acting human.” If you can keep that in mind, you can naturally build relationships which will help you grow your business.
Here are three ways you can begin to build authentic business relationships and keep them throughout your career.
Don’t pitch someone right away.
If I just met you, chances are I don’t want to be pitched. Neither does anyone else.
Unfortunately, I would have to say this is the biggest mistake I see when people are trying to build authentic business relationships. When the pushiness and pitch starts in the first sentence — I’m done with that person.
Yes, you are attending networking events to grow your business. And, yes, it is appropriate to talk about your business at said events. However, there is a form of business etiquette you need to adhere to. The social cues for you to talk about your business will naturally be there, so don’t rush it by trying to pitch someone you just met.
Provide value on a consistent basis.
Your best bet for building authentic business relationships is to provide value on a consistent basis. This could look like multiple things depending on your business. Here are some examples:
- Providing valuable and helpful content on social media.
- Running a weekly blog where you address issues pertaining to your audience.
- Having a podcast where you interview guests who could help your audience.
- Having a YouTube series where you answer questions from your audience.
- Creating freebies that help your market solve a problem.
Providing consistent value to others and really caring, helps you build authentic relationships because it allows people to trust you. It’s only after you’ve built their trust that you can then do great things for each other — like pitch and sell.
Helping people could technically qualify as providing value on a consistent basis, but I thought it deserved it’s own section. Whereas providing consistent value mostly pertains to online marketing, there’s also the idea of providing consistent value in person.
In fact, providing consistent value in person by helping other people is what’s helped me get speaking engagements and media appearances. It’s also helped me take my online connections and turn them into great friendships, as well.
Here are some of the ways you can build authentic business relationships by helping other people:
- Help people in your industry promote their offerings. (e.g., their blog posts)
- Help people you meet at events. I always make it a point to help someone who asks me a blogging question at events I attend around town.
- Help event organizers by speaking at the event or promoting the event for them.
- Do people a solid. I got a TV segment because a friend and colleague needed to find someone for a local producer on a fast turnaround. This helped her look good and helped me get my first TV appearance.
By following these three tips you’ll be able to build authentic business relationships throughout your entire career. As you can see, it’s not rocket science, it’s just being human.