Some businesses are better at relationship building than others. Understanding how to build effective relationships with prospective and current clients can be the difference between thriving or struggling in your business, so it’s important to know how to do it effectively from the beginning of your business development strategy. This article will help you get started with relationship-building strategies that will last long after you start your business.
A Strong Network Helps You Land New Clients
It’s been said many times: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. In business, strong relationships can mean landing a new client or securing a promotion. And with technology today, staying in touch doesn’t even require leaving your desk. Using social media and collaborating across departments makes it possible to be better connected than ever before. No matter how large or small your company is, reaching out to existing contacts is an easy way to ensure continued growth. The more connections you have, both within and outside your company, the stronger your business will become.
A Good Reputation Precedes You
A strong business development strategy involves developing relationships with influencers. These days, it’s easier than ever to create and leverage networks. For example, LinkedIn provides you with access to first-degree connections (that is, people you know) and second-degree connections (those who know someone you know). Why does that matter? You don’t want your network to consist only of contacts—you want relationships. That’s what makes a powerful business development strategy. Your personal brand doesn’t grow organically, though; it takes time and effort on your part. And, yes, it will take some trial and error before you develop an approach that works for you! However, when done right—you’ll boost revenue while also improving your company image.
Meeting People in Person Leads To More Opportunities
When you meet with potential customers in person, you get a lot more information than if you just exchange emails or call over the phone. You can easily form personal connections and strengthen your company’s image. Beyond that, meeting in person can boost your sales and revenue since you learn about new markets for your products or services. There’s also value in strengthening and maintaining existing relationships; frequent face-to-face meetings can help businesses improve their relationships with partners and employees by communicating more efficiently about ongoing issues. This all adds up to opportunities to pursue new business deals and earn more money from existing clients.
Building Relationships Using Platforms Like Zoom
You can also do a webinar with Zoom or Go to Meeting. Sales professionals widely use this tool. The cost is minimal, and you have a video conferencing system that you can use to connect with prospects or clients who are trying to build business relationships. For example, if your prospect is in London, they will find it easier to connect with you on a virtual meeting than try and make a physical trip across town. You should do webinars at least once every month as they are effective ways to increase your customer base at low costs. It’s not that difficult either – just find a topic of interest and discuss what you know about it for about 20 – 30 minutes – so be prepared!
Knowing People Solves Problems
Regardless of how well you can serve a customer, if they don’t know your company or product exists, they’ll never be able to buy it. Sometimes that can be fixed by spending more money on marketing, but other times, building relationships is your best shot at connecting with new customers and boosting revenue. With so many people out there telling their own stories and presenting their own companies in their own way (and more and more each day), you need some help getting noticed—even just in your industry or community. That’s where relationship building comes in. Relationships are often something everyone thinks about, but not everyone realizes just how powerful they are for business growth.
When Opportunity Knocks, Someone Answers
There are hundreds or thousands of influencers in your industry. You probably don’t know most of them personally, but there are ways to reach out to them and build relationships through social media. The first step is to do some research and find ten people who fit into your category—and who you look up to professionally. Reach out by leaving a comment on one of their posts, getting in touch with them via email, or connecting with them on LinkedIn. Why? Influencers need audiences and new markets more than anything else—and they’re usually happy when others help spread their name around. Think about it: If you had 100 referrals for clients tomorrow morning would you be grateful? Would you see that as something that helped grow your business?
Your Network Can Help You Stand Out from The Crowd
According to a study by researchers at Northwestern University and Georgia State University, people with more connections on LinkedIn were seen as more powerful. If you want to be perceived as powerful, you need a strong company image (more on that later). But you also need relationships—not just any relationships, but strong and diverse ones. This is where your network can help. Successful entrepreneurs say networking is one of their top priorities because it helps them stay connected to colleagues, customers, suppliers, and other people who can help their business thrive.
In some cases, your network can even lead directly to new business opportunities; for example, if you’re trying to get in touch with someone at a company you’d like to work with, it might be easier if they know someone in common than if they don’t. When you’re building your network, don’t focus only on big names or high-profile individuals. Instead, try to connect with everyone, from co-workers and clients to former classmates and neighbors. The more diverse your network is, the better off you’ll be.
Just Because Someone Isn’t Your Ideal Client Doesn’t Mean They Can’t Help You
Even if a business isn’t buying what you’re selling right now, there’s a chance they will buy in the future. That’s why it’s important to cultivate relationships with industry connections, especially ones you don’t have much in common with—they can bring all sorts of new clients your way. The same goes for meetings and conferences: Even if you don’t have a specific project lined up, meeting more experienced people than you is a great way to grow your professional network and learn new ideas. Not to mention just how important it is to simply meet people face-to-face, even if it’s just for lunch or coffee.
Start Now by Reaching Out To Influencers In Your Niche
Getting your foot in doors with key influencers who have a lot of influence in your target market can be difficult if you haven’t yet built a strong reputation for yourself and your business. One tool to help reach out to these influencers is NinjaOutreach. This tool has several features that make contacting potential partners easier and more effective. I would suggest reaching out on Twitter by using hashtags relevant to your industry, and then, when someone reaches out, click their profile link, which will take you to their contact page to add them as a connection, create an outreach campaign, or schedule tweets.
Contact Old Classmates/Business Partners/Etc. That You Haven’t Talked to In Years
A tried-and-true method of building strong relationships is through your network. This can be as simple as setting aside time to touch base with former classmates or business partners (even if they don’t offer direct value in your current capacity). If you don’t have anyone on hand, try to identify a few people who may be able to introduce you to others in their network. The key is investing time and energy into getting back in touch with people—it doesn’t matter if it seems like it’s a waste because keeping up strong relationships will never be a waste! You never know when those connections might come in handy down the road.
Business development isn’t about networking. It’s about creating meaningful relationships with people that can help you grow your business and make it easier to sell your product or service in a crowded marketplace. The key to effective business development is building authentic, long-lasting relationships with others—these will be both allies and customers in a bustling ecosystem.
Join our webinar
Jimmy Newson talks to Gary Anzalone, co-founder of the International Business Development Professionals, about the key measurements in Business Development going into 2022. Gary will share insights for the coming year and strategies to implement. In the end, you will walk away with a solid business development strategy for yourself and your team.