Business relationships can take many forms. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you obviously want to create good relationships with your customers or clients. You may also want to connect with other business owners for possible partnerships. If you are seeking funding, you will need to develop relationships with potential investors.
Young (or even older) entrepreneurs can benefit by finding an experienced mentor, another relationship that is necessary to cultivate. The type of people on this list will depend on your current situation and goals. There are, however, certain guidelines that hold true for just about all business relationships.
That’s why people who build extraordinary business relationships:
1. Take the hit.
A customer gets mad. A vendor complains about poor service. A mutual friend feels slighted.
Sometimes, whatever the issue and regardless of who is actually at fault, some people step in and take the hit. They’re willing to accept the criticism or abuse because they know they can handle it–and they know that maybe, just maybe, the other person can’t.
Few acts are more selfless than taking the undeserved hit. And few acts better cement a relationship.
2. Step in without being asked.
It’s easy to help when you’re asked. Most people will.
Very few people offer help before they have been asked, even though most of the time that is when a little help will make the greatest impact.
People who build extraordinary relationships pay close attention so they can tell when others are struggling. Then they offer to help, but not in a general, “Is there something I can do to help you?” way.
Instead they come up with specific ways they can help. That way they can push past the reflexive, “No, I’m okay…” objections. And they can roll up their sleeves and make a difference in another person’s life.
Not because they want to build a better relationship, although that is certainly the result, but simply because they care.