What is a healthy business relationship? A healthy business relationship is one where two or more participants create a open dialog of communication. The linchpins of this communication are trust, honesty, interest, and the cohesive sharing of ideas. The benefit of this communication is the building, piece by piece, of a relationship that will allow both participants the opportunity to promote their wares, ask for opinions, give and receive advice, and support each other’s business goals for the future. Sounds great because it is great when this type of relationship develops into a long standing alliance. Once you understand what it is you are seeking then it makes sense to find out where you must go to initiate these relationships.
Where do you go to begin your quest to create these healthy business relationships:social networking. In the days of past, business people joined their local Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, and church groups in search of business alliances. These are still places to investigate when you want to form a healthy business relationship but there are new options that are even more effective. Begin by researching the following places:
1. Internet Social Networking: Google, Yahoo, MSN search engines provide a number of business groups which specialize in bringing people together with like minded business focus. Facebook, LinkdIn, and myspace have rapidly become online social networking powerhouses where you may join regional, business niche, and other networking groups. The power of online networking is it’s speed and global reach. In many cases people can forge new business alliances locally, nationally, and globally with patience and tenacity. Also research and read blogs that are specific to your business and region. Many new blogs are launched in many new business niches. This is one of the fastest methods to meet and create a healthy contact list.
2. Networking Meetings: Depending upon your business, one of the fastest growing segments of networking is marketing meetings of breakfast, lunch, and dinner mixers which are targeted to specific business niches in specific geographical locations. Official national associations are abundant in nearly every business niche, college alumni niche, and certification niche. Research on Google for a multitude of face to face business relationship networking opportunities.
3. Business Conferences-Seminars: This is a fantastic method to meet people in your industry. Although most conferences and seminars are annual events, this is a great place to make contacts. Consider this your place to create a new contact list.
Now that you have investigated and found your resource list of places to meet new people, how do you create the type of healthy business relationship that will become a long standing alliance? Try the following tips in order to connect and begin new business relationships:
1. Be Friendly: Your ability to be liked aka “likeability” goes way up when you smile and treat people with a friendliness and kindness. *”Charisma begins with a smile and an open mind” Dean Guadagni
2. Confidence: In order to instill confidence in others about who you are provide them with eye contact, a firm handshake, and dress-groom in a manner that shows your pride. First impression are vital first steps to healthy business relationships. *Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.
3. Risk Taking: Taking the risk to make the connection is the hardest step to take in many cases. Remember the only risk here is a missed connection. If you don’t try to connect then you will never find that healthy business relationship leading to a long standing alliance. *”Simply ask or forever wonder what might have been” Unknown
4. Willingly Learn: If you take an authentic interest in learning about someone else’s business before presenting your interests, you will likely forge a new and important business relationship. Be prepared to ask about your new connection’s business. *Thomas Huxley “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something”
5. Actions Taken: People perceive and judge others by their actions. If you promise something you must fulfill that promise. If you do what you say you are going to do or make a concerted effort, people will feel more inclined to begin a healthy business relationship with you. *”Under promise and Over deliver” Jim Nordstrom founder Nordstrom Department Store.
6. Value for Value: One way giving is like driving down the wrong side of a one way street: somebody is going to get hurt. Simply put you must give authentic value in order to receive value in return. Once this give and receive practice is established you will be on your way to creating your business alliance. *Dwight D. Eisenhower U.S. President “A people that values it’s privileges above it’s principles soon loses both”
7. Stay Ready: Like love relationships, business relationships can also happen without warning in the most unlikely or unusual settings. Staying ready to connect is about paying attention to your surroundings and situation. It is about staying focussed. *Kevin Costner Actor “When a defining moment comes along, you define the moment, or the moment defines you”
8. Be Authentic: Act normal or real, talk real, and be real. Simply put do not try to put on airs of importance. Just be yourself and be comfortable with the fact that you are a valuable person and great business alliance partner in waiting. *Jefferson Davis “Never be haughty to the humble; never be humble to the haughty”
Consequently your ability to create healthy business relationships leading to long standing alliances will depend on these 8 tips. If any of these ideas intimidate you, please remember that you have an unlimited source of inner power in which to access.
Stay tuned in as a new source for corporate employee development and business self help, innerarchitect.com, will be available beginning November 15.