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Successful business relationships and personal relationships require a lot of the same skills. Taking an interest in the other person, being honest and sharing your values are all important to successful relationships.

But how can you ensure your engagement with customers and/or stakeholders in  your business – such as suppliers? How can you add more to your interactions?

Here are three simple and practical ways to get more out of your business relationships in 2013:

1. Make every engagement matter

If you are looking to build long-lasting relationships with customers, interactions need to be about more than just offering a professional service. Take the time to show you care about your clients and want to connect with them – find out what you can offer above your product or service offering that they would value. As an example, sharing your expertise can be an inexpensive way to add-value to your customers’ experience and keep them interested in your products and services.

2. Find a way that you can work on something together

For re-charging those close business relationships, such as with an important client, take the time to listen to how the client’s business is fairing and what pressures they are facing, as well as sharing information about your business. There’s a reason your relationship has worked well in the past, listening will give you the opportunity to see where the relationship can go in the future.

3. Connect with them in online communities they care about

Staying in touch and sharing ideas is made easy through community forums and groups on social media sites where your customers/clients are having relevant conversations. Offer valuable feedback and join in discussions to demonstrate that you have something of value to contribute. Providing carefully considered and considerate responses can also help to lift attitudes about you, and your business.

What practical tips do you have to keep business relationships working well?

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Gerald Chait

Gerald Chait

Gerald Chait is Reckon Limited’s Group General Manager, Marketing. He has over 20 years marketing experience and has worked with a number of well known companies including Sharp, Optus and 3M developing marketing and business strategies. For almost 5 years Gerald has been instrumental in developing Reckon’s Business Division marketing and pricing strategies. Reckon is the distributer of QuickBooks, Quicken and APS software. Over the last decade, Reckon has quickly grown to become a leading name in accounting and business circles.

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