Four things to do to build relations
When you tell your friends, families and other acquaintances that you have decided to be an entrepreneur, one of the advice they’ll probably give is, “You need to make connections.” When you finally become an entrepreneur, these words are merely reminders. But what is tragically lacking is its application: the wisdom.
What is going wrong then? We just want things for ourselves, and we fail to realize that building relations works two-ways.
” Networking is not a take-first and give-second relation, but it’s rather a give-first and take-second relation.”
We should not only focus on what we can get but also focus on what we can give. When you understand this concept, we have solved the first part of the puzzle; we are on the path of building strong relations.
Relationship building, like every other marketing tactics, is something that grows eventually and evolves over time. You have to realize that relationships aren’t built in a day. You might say, “Okay we understand this, but how do we build this strong relationship?”
Make yourself visible
The founding stone to building strong relationships is your visibility. If you are not visible enough to your peers, colleagues, fellow competitors, then I’m afraid you’re doing it wrong. After all, it’s not about attending events, parties and exchanging business cards.
“Your card will be just another card in the stack, and will probably be never referred to. It’s about what you are going to do about the card.”
Most people go wrong here; they don’t follow up on contacts and fail to realize that every business card is an opportunity. Send him/her a text or e-mail. A simple: “Hey nice meeting you yesterday. I really liked our discussion” won’t hurt anyone. When you have continuous communication with your stakeholders, you have become visible.
Once you have become visible, your next aim is to build trust. Your potential business partners, customers, peers must know about you and the service you provide. Once you do, you have created an expectation level on their minds based on what you have communicated with them. Now, this is the leverage point, if you can satisfy their expectations, your relationship with them will start to get stronger. Many Market researchers have pointed out that customer satisfaction and ‘delivering what we promised’ has a positive relation. If you deliver what you promised, you build credibility. Let’s say if you can provide high-grade organic coffee in the right amount and the right time to coffee houses around the Kathmandu valley, then you have built yourself to be a credible supplier. You are someone they can rely on, and less the chances that they will turn to others.
Add personal touch
Your customer will speak out for you. Because your customers are your best salespeople, they advocate about your brand and product to new people and bring you, customers. For startups looking to build brands, it is important to see how even the big companies develop relationships on a personal level. Construct working relationships with your suppliers, partners, and customers in person. People will build strong relationships with people rather than with your business or brand. If you ever were a Yamaha user, remember how the customer service calls you to remind that it’s time for servicing your bike? You might have been thankful to them, even if it was for a moment, and it is only a sign that your bond grew stronger.
“The benefits are more visible if you are able to communicate with your customers on a personal level. “
Use the power of the internet
If you miss out on using the tools of the internet in today’s world, I’m afraid building relationships can be very tough. Make a strong presence in social media. Do not only share about your products or service, but also post and share articles your followers might enjoy reading. It’s also time to use email marketing again. (Sounds a bit old school?) When someone reads your email, s/he will have your undivided attention, unlike in Facebook where your message might just drown in a sea of posts and messages of your customer’s home page.
So, it’s time to convert your knowledge into wisdom and amend things that you did wrong. One thing you should realize is that building strong relationships is not the same as just making connections.