If you’re the CEO of your business (whether it’s a company of one or a company of thousands), you encounter numerous relationships on a daily basis: with your business network; with your business vendors or partners; with your employees; with your customers; with your prospective customers; and with your local community. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to run any kind of profitable business without forming a variety of relationships.
1. Always Be Authentic
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Fake it till you make it”. Some believe that you need to copy a certain style or mindset before you reach a certain level of success, but can you do that and still show your authentic self?
People want to connect with you and do so many times via social media. They want to know what your life is like. They want and need to relate to you on a personal level so that you become more real to them. If you are authentic with your image and what you post online, they in turn will give you their trust and, likely their money.
If you fake it too much or are caught in a lie on social media, your image can come crashing down. Instead of being a trusted professional, you’ll have a reputation as being a fake or not walking the walk. If you want to be trustworthy, earn that trust by building your relationships based on integrity and honesty.
2. Listen Carefully
When building professional relationships, remember that you are not the center of the universe. Even though you ultimately want people to purchase from you, new prospects will be leery of you until they get to know you.
Show an interest in THEIR business or THEIR life. Once you ask one question, people naturally want to keep talking, especially if they are passionate about their industry and mission. Listen to them speak, tuck away interesting nuggets for a later time, and remember to send a follow up email the next business day, simply commenting how nice it was to meet them. At the next event, make a point of acknowledging them and start a new conversation.
Listen to what your audience wants and needs. What are they struggling with right now and how can you help them? Listening is a very important skill when it comes to business relationships as well as creating loyal customers.
3. Share, Share, Share
Be careful…this does NOT mean to share too much information of a personal sort. This simply means keep sharing your knowledge, resources, free articles, and ebook chapters; anything that will be of value to your audience. This can include content from OTHER experts. By sharing information, you are building yourself up as an authority in that area of expertise and also showing what a kind and generous person you are. This evokes good emotions of happiness and kindness which, hopefully, meld with your online image and will endear you to many more prospects.
It’s All About the Relationships
We all know that being successful in business is all about “know, like and trust.”