We live in insecure and hectic times, where businesses and employees will have to reinvent themselves. Facts show that the old business models are not working anymore. Evidence for that is that only this year in The Netherlands two to three companies are declared bankrupt every day. Because of that and because of reducing costs, there will be 750.000 employees unemployed in 2014, an increase of 60% since January 2012.
I do not want to bring bad news with this blog post, I want to show you that we have to change our mindset, our beliefs about how we do sustainable and meaningful business. We are at a point that everybody feels effected by these economic, cultural and sociological changes.
One of the most important developments I see is that businesses have to let go of old traditional ideas about doing business. For me the key is to invest in the relationships we have, either with clients or with partners. Clients buy from you if they know you, like you and trust you.
With business partners it is the same. We see that the new way of doing business is by partnering with other businesses. That way you can cover costs and cross develop and promote products or services. Businesses will have to be more creative and share responsibilities and trust each other and therefore you need to connect and start building a relation.
How do you build a network of like minded professionals or businesses?
Here go 7 tips about how to build a relationship:
1. If you contact somebody you do not know, off- or online, be genuinely interested in the other person.
2. Ask questions and seek common ground. Try to make a connection. By asking questions you will see if you share similar interests or history together. That way you can create a click.
3. Treat the other with respect and honesty. Show good manners and the intention that you want to increase the well being of the other on a professional level.
4. Ask how you can help the other on a professional level.
5. Listen Actively. There is a rule you can apply in every conversation you have and that is that you speak 50% and you listen 50%. Somebody that talks too much is not involved with the other person and somebody that talks too less looks not really interested.
6. Be present. What I mean by that is to be with the other person for the full 100%. In case you are with your thoughts somewhere else, people feel that and it creates distance.
7. Follow-up. In case you have met someone and you have promised to put him or her in contact with somebody else do as you promised. Your behavior is the evidence if the other can trust you.
These are my tips, in case you have a tip to develop interpersonal skills in order to build strong relationships, please share them so that others could learn from you.