Relationships form the foundation of any business. Internal relationships between management and employees determine your productivity and efficiency, with a direct impact on your revenue and costs. External relationships with vendors and contractors also affect your productivity. Relationships with clients dictate your marketing and sales success, directly affecting your bottom line.
The vital importance of these interactions on your business performance makes optimizing relationships a key to your company’s success. Here are some fundamental strategies for improving your business relationships to enhance the success of your company.
Relationships between members of your company form the foundation of your relationships outside your company, so keeping them strong should be a high priority. One of the best ways to build strong relationships within your company is to use a mentoring program.
A key to building a good mentoring program is using a questionnaire to make a good match between mentees and mentors, says leading staffing agency Robert Half.
Ask participants about their career goals and what they’re looking for in a mentor or mentee. Use an internal marketing launch with a special event to kick off your mentoring program, and build mentoring into the onboarding process for new workers. Establish procedures that mentees can use to seek advice and engage in periodic goal-setting discussions with their mentors.
Another great way to build business relationships is to leverage social media. Four in 10 workers naturally connect with coworkers through social media accounts, an HRinfodesk survey found.
Companies can encourage this trend by setting up corporate social media accounts on public networks and on the company’s internal network. Having workers create work-related discussion groups as well as groups related to social topics such as sports or cooking can help promote interaction.
It’s also important to build good relationships with your external vendors and contractors. The most important foundation for a good relationship is to make payments on time.
If you need to make a late payment, let your partner know well in advance so they have time to make adjustments to their own budget.
Getting to know your key vendors is another way to build better relationships, says retired Fidelity Investments senior vice president Bob Ronan. Activities such as dinner or sports events can be used to build social relationships.
Looking for ways to help your vendor build their business, such as discussing what kind of referrals they’re looking for, can further help strengthen relationships.
Client relationships are critical for your company’s revenue success. Building a good relationship with clients starts with positioning yourself positively during the marketing phase, before your prospects have become customers.
Research your target market’s needs, and position your marketing message to meet those needs. If your reputation has been damaged, launching a public relations campaign to improve your image can help.
For instance, misinformed perceptions of the direct selling industry once led to Amway scam accusations, causing some consumers to wonder, is Amway a pyramid scheme?
Amway turned this negative press into an opportunity to explain the company’s direct selling model, which differs from pyramid schemes by helping independent business owners make money selling quality products, rather than paying for recruitment.
Amway also offers marketing, sales, and business management training to its representatives, including a free video training course on the basics of running a successful business.
How you treat clients during the purchasing process and after they buy from you also plays a major role in setting the tone of your relationship. Making it easy for customers to communicate with you is fundamental.
In today’s digital age, good communication starts with making your website user-friendly, with a responsive design that mobile users can easily navigate, self-service options such as FAQs, and automated tools your customers can use to contact you when you’re busy, such as chatbots and IVR phone options.
Keep track of how long it takes for you to reply to client inquiries, and aim to minimize the amount of time your clients have to wait.
Good relationships within your company, with your vendors, and with your clients lay a foundation for business success. Striving to maintain good relationships throughout all aspects of your business will help improve your teamwork, streamline collaboration with your business partners, and boost customer satisfaction for more sales.
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