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Building bridges – reviving the lost art of business relationships

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Doing business in the digital age is faster than ever before. Advanced technology does away with many of the unnecessary processes and makes many of our business operations virtually instantaneous. While we’re all for saving time and money, it’s apparent that some of the more critical aspects of doing business have gone by the wayside.

One of those things is relationship building. While having a great website and digital marketing strategy will no doubt land clients, the personal touch promotes their loyalty to your brand. If you’re reading this, it’s likely you already looking for ways to add that personal touch to your business relationships. Keep reading as we go about reviving the lost art of business relationship building:

The gift of giving

Let valued customers know you care and appreciate their business by giving them a token of your gratitude. Thoughtful corporate gifts can include almost usable item, and with your company’s name and logo proudly displayed, it keeps you at the forefront of your clients’ minds.

A few great ideas for corporate gift giving include:

  • Customized conference bags and satchels
  • Branded coffee mugs and drink bottles
  • Personalized laptop and tablet covers

Get to know your customers

If you think about how you foster your personal relationships, you’ll realize you’ve done so face-to-face. You’ve spent time with the people who are close to you and gotten to know them on a deep and personal level. This same principle applies to your business relationships.

While texting and emailing have their place in business, the fact is, they can’t replace the good old-fashioned face-to-face when it comes to knowing your customers and understanding their needs. Today’s technology makes it easy to neglect your personal relationships in the business world, but taking the time to foster them as you would your private connections is an investment in your future.

Find opportunities to converse with business contacts

The only way to get to know people is by talking to them. If you’re like most people, you’re super busy and don’t have time to hold more than a two-minute conversation with someone. This happens a lot, but it’s hard to build trust and loyalty with someone when neither of you knows the other. Whether in person or over the phone, it’s vital that you make time to speak with your business contacts at length. We’re not saying you must talk with every single customer, but if an opportunity presents itself, take it. Word of mouth spreads fast, and if you’re seen as a caring person by just one customer and that customer tells others… Well, we don’t have to tell you how this story goes.

Set aside time for relationship building

Understanding your clients’ business needs is obviously critical. However, it is equally imperative to know your contacts as individuals. Establishing a rapport is not just about what you can provide to them and at what price. When you take the time to get to know who they are, how many kids they have, their wives’ names, what their hobbies are and other, you’ve forged a more personal connection that can engender strong loyalty that can be hard to break. For extra credit, find out your clients’ birthdays and send them a personal birthday card when the time comes. Little touches like that can win business for life.

Technology is a great thing, especially when it helps us operate more efficiently but tends to make us forget how important a personal touch is to business success. Hopefully, the strategies discussed above will help you regain that personal touch and revive the professional relationship building process.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best.We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration.

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