Continued from part 1…
Connecting with one another is what life is all about, whether at home, at work, and in business. We are relational beings and possess a need to connect in order to feel life satisfaction. The ability to connect is paramount to human beings in every situation, and the need increases every day.
No matter which way you cut it, your business is made up of people: employees, partners, clients.
If you want it to succeed, you need to have a working relationship with these people. Today, our business success is based on how well we relate with people who do business with us (internally and externally).
People’s businesses play a significant role in the new economy. We are now in a relationship-business-world, and this demands that we build and nurture or connect with our customers.
In every business transaction, people are hungry for relationships. Without a relationship, a business is dead. Always remember that people don’t make purchases or use the services of a certain establishment; they establish relationships.
By relationship, I don’t mean playing golf together or exchanging pictures of children but one that both parties benefit from. No relationship works unless there’s something in it for the parties involved that is mutually beneficial. Of course, any business relationship that’s not based on value will collapse.
In the 1920s, Kanosuke Matsushita insisted that you treat the people you do business with as if they were part of your family.
He used that principle and later founded the mighty Panasonic Corporation, which is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies.
I have come to realize that relating with people is one of the biggest challenges of most businesses. You should know that developing a relationship is the starting point for business success. That is to say, where there is no relationship, there is no business.
Better still; the closing of the first business deal (or sales) is the beginning of a relationship, which we should encourage to last.
Doing business in the new economy has shifted from just ‘customer-satisfaction’ to more of ‘customer-relationship’, and the more of them you have, the greater your chance of succeeding. And the best way to build a relationship is by placing yourself in the customer’s shoes.
Relationship in business is a valuable asset, and it is the core of all business skills. You must be careful not to let it grow fallow. ‘The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and influence their actions’.
Those were the words of John Hancock. Where there is no relationship, there is no business. This requires continuous cultivation through love, service, care, respect, value, and warmth. And the process requires that you be proactive and calculative.
The best way to handle people business is to show we value their worth thereby treating them according to the needs and wants suitable to their personal styles.
You must learn to match people against their ‘social velocity’ and personality. The more you can show your clients that you understand their unspoken concerns, the more they do business with you.
People do business with you not because you are the best, but the preferred. They like you and enjoy the rapport they have with you.
The future of every business anchors on a relationship. According to John Maxwell, a relationship expert, ‘The highest level of relationships is reached when people like your business, but more importantly, they like you’. With a relationship, you create a memory afterward which you will live to enjoy.
Build every business relationship with a deep level of trust. Trust is the key to strong and healthy relationships, and the foundation of all interaction with people.
An effective relationship has got some attributes, and they include mutual enjoyment, respect, shared experience, reciprocity and trust, honesty, and candor. And you do yourself a lot of good if you make them part of your business.
Most enterprises we admire have large networks of healthy relationships that support what they do. Let your relationship grow into a network to the extent that it will be difficult for your competition to penetrate it.
Relate with them so well that they will be embarrassed to go elsewhere. Like you know, the larger and stronger; the better for you. In other words, the bigger the network, the better your net-worth.
The ultimate value of every business is measured by the quality of the relationship it has with its customers. The more you connect to your customers, the more devoted they become.
Look at the way you related to your clients last year or even last month, and the result you got. Won’t it be wise for you to do something differently or improve on what you have done; the result would astonish you. I don’t just have business transactions, I build relationships, and it’s paying me big time. What are you waiting for to start tapping from this goldmine? It’s up to you to make your business happen!
Tony Ajah is a Business Growth Strategist, and the author of BUSINESS SENSE, and ON BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR. He maintains a personal blog, www.tonyajah.com where he shares proven business ideas and principles for SMEs.