Relationships take time, practice, and some dedication. Relationships require an investment in time and effort to make them strong.
I have been a solo business owner for ten years now. The first seven years I focused solely on building my business and growing my brand.
I met a lot of success and had a lot of connections, but I didn’t have any personal relationships outside of my business.
I didn’t know what to do. So I started calling my clients to build relationships. I called clients to schedule a meet and greets.
I called clients to simply catch up. The point of calling clients was to build relationships.
Building relationships requires communication
I realized I needed to call the clients with whom I have little or no contact or build those relationships.
I realized I needed to call the clients who weren’t happy with me or my work and build those relationships.
I realized I needed to call the clients I was holding grudges against and build those relationships.
I realized that I needed to be more involved in the lives of my clients and invest in them.
Telling your customers you need more time to do their project or calling them to apologize are some ways you can build relationships.
Don’t underestimate the power of a great story. A lot of people don’t know how to start a conversation, so just start talking.
If someone doesn’t open up to you, don’t push. Be understanding and give them some space to feel comfortable.
A lot of people are used to being listeners.
A lot of small business owners think networking and building relationships with customers and partners is a waste of time
People take relationships for granted. A lot of people don’t know how to start a conversation, so just start talking. I used to think networking events were for networking.
But at the same time, I knew it would help me in the long run.
I don’t think most small business owners realize the power of their own presence.
The fact that you have a business means you have a presence, so it’s up to you to make the most of it. If you do nothing, nobody will take notice.
Business owners need to build the relationships they have with customers. That’s how you keep your customers.
When customers have problems or complaints, they usually come to you first.
Your employees are also some of your most valuable assets, so the onus of building relationships is on them.
I think the people I hired as employees really understood that.
They would frequently share personal stories and experiences about me and the company.
They would call me in for client meetings so we could talk about things face-to-face and create personal relationships.
They knew I didn’t want to micromanage them, so they started talking to me and the customers more.
The first relationship you need to build is the one you have with yourself
You have to be honest with yourself and understand your goals. If you are not happy with your performance and the quality of work you provide, then you need to change your mindset.
That’s your first relationship. A good friend is always there to tell you the truth and help you when you need them.
The second relationship you need to build is the one you have with your customers. You need to be honest with them and let them know your issues.
You also need to build the relationship you have with your employees. If you have a business, you’re probably making money, and the people who are helping you are probably making money too.
That creates a win-win situation. The people you hire have a sense of belonging and feel like part of the family. I would like to think that many employees appreciated their jobs.
One of my employees, who was supposed to be a customer service representative, wasn’t passionate about it.
She struggled to get in touch with the customers. A couple of times, I just didn’t have the patience to listen to her tell me she couldn’t help my customers.
I called her in and asked her to change her attitude. She left, but when she came back, she was a different person. The company received huge results because of her attitude shift.
Next, you need to find people with complementary skills who can work well together and become friends
As a business owner, you will not know everybody.
It’s important to find people you can build relationships with because if you don’t, you won’t get the best talent.
In an interview, the candidate should give you a good idea of who he or she is. But you have to get to know your employees.
If you have a good feeling, then hire that person. If not, hire somebody else.
It’s easy for entrepreneurs to think that relationships are transactional.
People often give them as gifts or just because.
But you have to build relationships with your employees because that’s the only way you’ll have sustainable relationships in your business.
You must make your employees feel like you care about them as people.
They should also feel like they are part of a family and part of the family takes care of each other.
By the way, not everyone is built for a relationship-based business. You need to hire people who fit your company culture and are reliable.
You can build strong relationships with your customers and employees when you build them with empathy and genuine care.