Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Power of Relationships (Part 1)

You might think talking about relationships is somewhat of “overkill” as it is something everyone knows about, a subject matter that is welcomed by some and avoided by many others. It is something many leave for daytime talk shows, or something some work very hard to nurture, maintain, and build.

While most equate relationships with one’s personal life, some do talk about the importance of business relationships, but even fewer act upon it. A good business relationship can last for a lifetime, and many good business relationships become personal friendships that also grow during a person’s career.

How does one build this type of strong business relationship? I would suggest that it is not as complicated as it seems, and the rules for building and maintaining a good business relationship are pretty similar as the ones for personal relationships. However, just as with personal relationships, one must commit to constantly work on the relationship and not take anything for granted.

Rule 1: “Ask more than answer, listen more than speak, and practice serving more than being served”

Most clients enjoy talking about themselves and what they do. It’s the same with anyone, especially people that truly enjoy what they do and are passionate about it. In working with your clients, it is important to truly understand your client’s needs, their point of view, and why they do what they do. One cannot do that if they are talking, as their mind is engaged on talking. So, here are a few tips:
– Practice asking questions and listen for the answer which may lead to more questions and more listening
– Ask open-ended questions that require more than a yes or no answer
– Make mental notes of responses and write them down later, or better still write them down then and there
– Ask a variety of questions about different subjects to get a better picture of your client
– Always thank your client for their time

Look for ways to make your client happy. Think back on your personal relationships. What makes those significant others in your life happy? If they mention something during your opportunities to speak with them, make a note and act upon it. For example, If they cannot meet with you because they have a daughter’s birthday coming up, you might want to consider recognizing that date with your planner and sending a treat for that daughter. More importantly, place it on your calendar to recognize it the following year, which can make even more of an impression.

Personal notes, regular calls (not stalking your client), invites to special events, and even just an afternoon bringing over some snacks (of course you want to find out what that client likes) on a rainy afternoon can make a big impact in your relationship. Don’t forget the umbrella!

Posted in: GS Blog  / Posted by: admin at 7:49 am