As discussed in my previous blog, building strategic relationships is vital to the success of any business. Not only can you leverage those relationships to benefit your business, but through sound partnerships, you could improve your customer journey, increase sales and raise your brand awareness and visibility with new audiences.
However, who should you build relationships with? How do you know which relationships will be most beneficial and how do you build those relationships?
In this blog, I will be sharing five key relationships that you should focus on building for business success.
One of the most important relationships any business owner will have is with their customers. Building and nurturing these relationships encourage faster growth, better retention, customer loyalty and an increase in profit in your business.
Ways that you can build strong customer relationships and the know, like and trust factor are:
- Communicate with your customers, find out what they need, what they like and provide solutions to their problems.
- Ask for feedback and use it! Whether customers have good or bad opinions about your business show you are listening and more importantly that you care.
- Connect on a personal level if you can and build various ways for customers to connect with you, blogs, emails, social media are all easy ways to begin conversations with your customers.
- Show your appreciation and reward customer loyalty. You could use loyalty discounts, special offers or small gifts. This is an effective way of saying thank you to your customers and nurturing your relationship.
You will work with various suppliers in your business and forging a strong relationship with them can be very beneficial to your business. You may be sent curated industry news and be kept informed about trends and developments allowing you to be one step ahead because you are one of the first to know.
As a loyal customer, you could be given preferred terms or discounts, saving you money on the products or services that you buy.
Finally, you may be asked to be involved in product development because the suppliers value your expertise and opinion. Again, putting you ahead of the competition on developments in your industry.
You can’t run your business single-handedly, especially if you want to grow and expand and so you will form relationships with other professionals such as solicitors, accountants and investors. Building strong relationships with these people is crucial as they will work very closely with you and your business. They will have exposure to a wide range of companies, so if you have good relationships, they will champion your business and help you gain more referrals (and save you lots of money!).
Many business owners fear and distrust their competitors, and this can stop them from reaching out. Building strong relationships with your competitors, however, can be extremely beneficial to your business. Not only are they going through similar things and can offer camaraderie, empathy and support, but there can also often be opportunities for collaboration and innovation by working together. Also, they may refer clients to you if they are at capacity or perhaps they aren’t best suited to the scope of the work being discussed and you are.
Your employees are an extension of you and represent you and your business in all that they do, and so it is vital that you have a positive and engaged relationship. Having a strong relationship with your employees is beneficial in many ways, including:
- Increases productivity
- Helps them to work more efficiently and be more motivated
- Creates less conflict
- Better retention rate and loyalty
- Having open communication
When employing staff, one of the first things to look for is if that person fits with your company culture, and building business relationships is no different.
Working with people with similar values to you can help build rapport and trust, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have relationships with people who are different from you! The key is to ensure you have focus and clarity around your aims and what you want from the relationship.
If you would like further support around building successful business relationships get in touch with me here on firstname.lastname@example.org.