Is your business suffering an economic downturn? Are you currently going through a tough time in your business? Then, you may need to read carefully what I am about to share with you.  Having a well-thought business concept is one thing, achieving business success is another thing. One of the reasons that you will succeed in business is the people you have in your network. The best asset you will have at any time is the business relationships you have created.

The business relationship you have built with your customers, employees and vendors is the only competitive capital you have. You must nurture a network of personal and business relationships. This takes effort and diligence. Always remember that everyone is a prospective client. So, treat everyone that way. Try to stay in touch with the people you meet through e-mail or other forms of communication methods.

Always ensure that you follow up with someone that you meet within twelve to twenty-four hours. You can simply send the person a quick note through e-mail or even an SMS and leave mental reminders as to who you are. Remember, you are going through all the trouble to meet other people. You might as well make sure that you are noticed. By the way, e-mails are very convenient but there is nothing like a handwritten thank you note to catch a person’s attention. You can also go one step further by calling the person to follow up.

If you want to build and maintain relationships successfully, you must build on your first meeting. Learn the art of staying in touch with your contact. Always remember that it is only through repetition that you can become a fixed element in your contacts’ memories. Much after you have established this relationship, you can ask them to introduce you to their network of contacts. This might be set of people who might be interested in your business. Not only will a referral get you in the door, this will enable you to grow your network.

One point worth noting is that it takes patience to grow your network. You must be patient when it comes to building relationships. This takes time and the last thing you want to do is to rush things. Ask for nothing at the beginning of the relationship. Focus on what you can give. Give more than you can get. Wait until you have gained people’s trust. When you are trusted, they will refer business to you without you having to ask. So, what do you think?

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5 Comments

  1. Paul L.-
    August 13, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Yes Emmanuel, at this point in time, business relationships built by your customers, employees, and vendors are the only competitive capital you can have. Networking is very important in expanding your business. PR professional, Ronn Torossian of 5W Public Relations explains in his blog how he goes one step further in networking. The blog discusses why you should surround your personal and professional being with people who are successful and well-connected.

  2. December 8, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you for submitting this article to the small and home business carnival.

  3. December 8, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    You are so right about this. I think with the economy being what it is and with competition so high, building on your business relationships is one of the best ways to stay a cut above the rest. Let’s face it, the public has thousands of options, especially with the internet, to get the product or service they want. Wouldn’t you rather give business to the company that made you feel appreciated?

  4. March 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you for your submission to the Small and Home Business blog carnival.

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