Skills Needed to Building Business Relationships
In business and in life, you have to work closely with others to build your way to success.
The old axiom, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is only partly true. It’s misleading, because it focuses on simply making contacts.
Creating success in business is really about maintaining relationships, not just having a list of people in your phone list or contacts file.
Benefits of Business Relationships
You may have some doubts about the benefits of personal relationships, but there are many ways that close, genuine contact with people can help make your career or business a success. When you are trying to get ahead in business and in life, you’ll have to offer your help to others, but you’ll get plenty of rewards from your relationships too.
Here are some examples of how other people can benefit you:
Sharing Advice. If you are feeling lost or confused, turn to your network. Someone with experience or expertise in an area can give you a few pointers.
Sharing Leads. If you are looking for a job, new clients, an interview source, or any other recommendations, it always pays to have someone who can give you some ideas of where to go. Just one close contact doubles your chances of knowing someone who has the news, information, or resources you need.
Investing and Lending Opportunities. You may find that it’s almost impossible to get a loan for a new business these days. However, if you have built great rapport with others, they may help lend you the money you need to get your business off the ground.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing. Many businesses will tell you that they get almost all of their business through referrals. These referrals can come from friends, family, and satisfied customers. It’s a free, unbiased, and extremely effective way to promote your work and generate more business.
Finding Jobs. The same philosophy applies to people looking for a job. When I was in the job search process, I discovered an interesting statistic: Almost 90% of people look for jobs only by looking at ads, but that’s where only 10% of available jobs exist. At least 30% come from referrals. The more you focus on your network and relationships, the better connected to opportunities you’ll be.
Potential Partners, Coworkers, and Employees. If you are not looking for a job, maybe you are looking for new talent. One of the best reasons to keep up with your relationships is because you never know who you may one day be working with – or for. People change companies all the time. Someone who is a colleague from a previous organization may end up sharing the cubicle next to you at your work, or (s)he might be able to help you find the new hire you are looking for. Simply put, more positive relationships means fewer enemies, less stress, and no more closed doors.
Your Relationships Create New Relationships. If you work closely with someone who you have impressed, you may get introduced to someone else who will play an important and influential role in your life.
Business Relationships Can Turn Into Good Friendships. Whether at work or outside work, days are better when you are interacting with positive people who you enjoy spending time with. Sometimes you will just need a buddy to go share a drink with after a hard day or blow off some steam when your boss is being a jerk. Why not approach each and every person, including your colleagues, as potential long-term friends?