Guest Post by: Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
Entrepreneurs often get caught up with other aspects of the business and, as a result, neglect the importance of building and maintaining business relationships. Remember, this era is about relationships - without strong relationships it is virtually impossible to have real business success.
While social media platforms are useful for social networking, face-to-face is still a powerful way to connect. It is no longer about how many friends or followers you have on social media, but rather how you can transform these connections into mutually beneficial, meaningful and lasting business relationships. Pay close attention to the quality of the people you are connecting with rather than the actual numbers, because it is not about the masses.
A year ago I connected with many incredible women on LinkedIn and two of them have resulted in really great business relationships and sisterhood where we leverage on each other strengths even in community development programmes. What is incredible is that our connection is not so much about what we can get from one another, but how we can add value to one another’s endeavors. Your professional network can be invaluable to the success of your business because the people you connect to can help you directly, or are likely to direct you to those others who can.
Business relationships are more important than your product or its price. Imagine you have a perfect product but you treat people badly including your clients. How long can you stay in business for? People generally don’t like high maintenance relationships, no matter how good your product or price is. So, make an effort to keep good relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, partners, investors and people in general.
You have to be willing to invest in business relationships just like any of your relationships. Be open to share, support not just take or receive from others. Don’t get in contact with your connections only when you need something from them. Imagine a friend who only calls you when they want something from you; eventually you cut them off because the relationship is one-sided.
So, how do you build and maintain business relationships?
- Decide who you need to connect with from your social network to build business success.
- Get to know them and what they do
- Be genuinely interested and learn about their interests, passion and business goals
- Develop the relationship focused on your connections
- Meet those you value face-to-face
- Look for ways to add value in what they are doing
- Acknowledge their contribution in your success
- Celebrate your connections’ successes
The quickest way to reach your goals is to help others reach their goals. The more you give of yourself without expecting something in return, the more rewards will come back to you from the most unexpected sources.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
Read more articles by Tumi Frazier