Building Relationships for a Lifetime

I often cover the topic of relationship building within the context of business development– a topic I hold in very high regard. Relationships are key in everything we do.  Being connected to people we like keeps us vibrant.  It helps us strive to be our best and produce results.  Here are a few tips for creating and enhancing your relationships this spring.

  • Real relationships take time and are built through single gestures of helpfulness and outreach. You can’t force a relationship to flourish. Each email, phone call or meeting builds upon itself. Slowly expand your connection with someone through single touchpoints until a recognizable relationship emerges out of your efforts.
  • Be courteous and friendly. Go the extra mile when you can. Offer useful information that makes their lives easier. Ultimately, these characteristics establish trust–a must-have component when building loyalty.
  • Take a sincere interest in the lives and businesses of people. Sincerity cannot be faked… you need to believe in the people you choose to know.
  • Be helpful in a meaningful way and without the expectation that you deserve something in return. Communication will become two-way when both individuals feel mutually connected to one another as the result of earned trust and chemistry.
  • Make an effort to follow-up on both business and personal topics. Keep a balance– be mindful to avoid prying into personal lives or overstepping professional boundaries.
  • Maintain relationships over a lifetime. If you get new business out of a relationship, don’t disappear once you have the work. Be sincere in thanking people for the work and then continue to be in touch. The relationship should be inconsequential of the gained business.