People skills are one of the most critical factors for business success. Experts estimate that even in careers, only 15% of success is dependent on technical know-how, while the remaining 85% depends on how well you relate to people. Everything you do in business is about people, whether it is a relationship with government officials, neighbors in your premises, and so on. There are, however, some relationships that affect the business more directly.
There is no business without relationships because you must first understand people and their needs before starting a business.Chris Frazier
Once you have established the company, you need to form relationships that will help you deliver goods and services to your customers. These include business relationships with suppliers, employees, service providers, freelancers, etc.
The relationship between you and customers determines whether they will trust you to meet their needs or not. The relationship with your employees also determines their output for better or for worse.
Categories of Business Relationships
B2B: This is a relationship between two businesses. A small business needs to relate with other companies to survive. The businesses that offer the goods to sell to their customers or service provides such as cleaners, financial institutions, transporters, etc. A good relationship with them will enable you to deliver goods and services and run the business smoothly.
B2C: This refers to the relationship between your business and the customers. It depends primarily on whether you meet their needs and how you treat them.
Internal Relationships: These are relationships between people within the business, including business owner and their employees, and relationships among staff. These relationships affect coordination within the company, which in turn affects the services offered to customers. Healthy relationships ensure that customers get their needs met, while unhealthy relationships derail service to customers.
How to Establish Successful Business Relationships
Establish Relationships at the Highest Possible Level
Your B2B relationships will profit you little if you anchor it on someone without authority on the other end. No matter how small your business is, you have the leverage to negotiate with the owner of a much bigger company. By interacting with the owner, you will be able to get meaningful concessions fasters.
Honesty is critical for effective business relationships. Always speak your truth no matter how disagreeable it may be. The people you relate with customers, employees, or other business owners, will prefer to do business with you if they know where you stand.
Everyone with whom you seek to have a business relationship seeks to gain from the relationship. You should therefore seek a situation where everyone takes something home. Forego some of the benefits you can do without for the moment to ensure the other party wins. If it is not possible to concede, for now, show them how they will benefit down the line and do your best to ensure they benefit at the promised time. Focusing on long-term possibilities helps you to make the necessary concessions for the current relationship.
There are many avenues of exchanging information with business partners, but none beats face-to-face meetings. Face-to-face meetings provide an excellent opportunity to iron out any emerging issues. Conference calls may be just as effective.
Christopher F. Frazier Lives in Gainesville, Georgia, and has been a pillar at Hardware Specialties, Inc. for over 27 years.