Relationship economics is the quantifiable value of any business relationship. And this include both online and offline business relationships. By business relationship, we don’t simply mean the relationship between business owners, suppliers and customers. The term rather includes a huge group. It includes all the connections you have on your LinkedIn profile; the members of your business Facebook page; your followers on Twitter with whom you communicate through tweets with hashtags; the Pinrest members who reads your clever boards, and the subscribers and viewers of your YouTube videos. In addition, it includes those business acquaintances you come cross in networking events and corporate seminars. In short, your business relationship includes all the social circle and influential contacts that play key roles in center of influence.
Thus, it is important to nurture and maintain this relationship. Also, you will need to gap the bridge between creating business relationship and capitalizing it. You need to turn your social circle into active and interested social currency to foster engagement. This, in turn, will help in creating valuable and lasting relationships. However, it is also important to remember that the manner of building business relationships has evolved over the years, especially with the advent of Internet and social networks.
Though Internet and online mode of communications allow you to initiate a contact to build relationships with much ease, sending an unsolicited email can result in losing the proposition altogether. Online communication is getting more sophisticated; people are better protected these days against unwanted noise. As a result, maintaining and nurturing business relationships online is becoming as challenging as doing it in-person. You will face the continuous pressure for efficiency and effectiveness.
The key focus for building both online and offline business relation is adding value to every interaction. The main purpose is to either provoke or provide a different perspective so that your social contact remembers their conversation with you. One of the best ways to initiate an impressive conversation is to listen intently, remain informative about various topics, and question constantly. Also, understand the value of brevity and capitalize on it as online conversation is all about being brief and to-the-point.
In case, you can make a strong and positive impression during the initial contact, the chances of people seeking you out will increase. It is also likely to warrant immediate action from your suitors and the timeliness of their response is an indication of the effectiveness of your previous conversation. However, don’t be disheartened if you fail to warrant any kind of action from them after the initial contact. In such situations, you should be the one following up.
While following up with a business contact you need to do some basic homework. Go through your initial contact – the topics that you discussed earlier will help you to find another clue to initiate a new conversation. Doing the background study is essential in every level, especially during the pre-initial contact. Research the event you will be initiating the contact, your potential attendees, topics, industry trends and recent similar events. It is also advised to have a clear understanding of the topical conversation starters. One of the best ways to start a conversation with a person already been introduced online is to reinforce credibility through association. Bring up questions that interest you both to jump-start an interaction.
Be present in each conversation (initiated or participated by people you are targeting) to get yourself engaged proactively. Saying this, we don’t want you to be a conversation hog or noisy. Your inputs should add value to the conversation. And distributing business cards excessively is a big no-no; it will only make you annoying, and people would rather like to avoid initiating conversations with you around. You may, at the most, capture a few notes regarding the conversation once you finish speaking and be diligent while disengaging from the conversations. The key here is to understand the current as well as the future needs of the people you are targeting and address them in your future interactions.
Send a follow-up note on the same day and make it brief. Most importantly, the note should offer something valuable like a PDF of a relevant and interesting article, a link to a data, or some points of interest. Relevancy is the key here. You may even suggest proactively the next step for creating an influential relationship. Of course, you will be keen to establish a business relationship, but be casual in your approach and pace yourself. Also, be pragmatic and practical and give your business contacts options while initiating a further conversation.
Another important factor that you need to consider is your position. In case, the contact has a higher business stature than yours, place yourself as a peer. Similarly, while initiating a contact with a person of same or lower business stature, make your time and be humble and candid in your approach.
You may fail to get an immediate response at times, wait for at least a week before initiating another conversation. You may write an email or call the person just to inquire if they received your follow-up. And while doing so, be formal and maintain your professionalism. Also, remember to add value to your conversation. If you still fail to get any response, it is likely to be fruitless to try initiating another conversation. Instead, think if you could have done it differently. No, it won’t change anything, but you will at least understand where you went wrong. And you can move on and focus on a rather relevant and responsive contact.
In conclusion, remember demonstrating integrity is essential for building business relationship. Learn to earn a personal passion and be proud about your business relationships.