Strengthening Business Relationships – What’s Your Likeability Factor?

By Fernie Black

In the business world you are required to interact with many different people from customers to employees through to business contacts. The relationships you form will directly affect your business’s success so it is crucial for you to form strong and effective business relationships.

Your employees are the cornerstone of your business and without them your business would not succeed. The best way to strengthen your relationship with your employees, and any other person you interact with, is to learn as much about them as possible and show genuine concern. The more you know about a person the better you can relate to them, and the stronger your relationship will become. They’ll notice and appreciate that you took the time to remember and care about them as individuals – you’re actually a human (people person) not just their boss.

A simple strategy to improve your business relationships is through active attention: pay attention to your employees, vendors, business contacts and customers so you can anticipate and meet their unique needs. The act of simply 'paying attention' to another human being yields significant rewards, and fosters greater connections.

Another way to foster a sense of importance and worth among your employees is by giving them a voice in decisions. If appropriate, involving them in client relations, and seeking their opinions will also help to strengthen their commitment to your business and in turn strengthen your relationship with them.

It is also important to recognize your employees when they do a good job. Everyone likes to be recognized when they do well and consistently recognizing those who excel will give them motivation and further encouragement. Studies repeatedly show while income is important, recognition and other value based emotional dimensions are more important still.

Customers are also an integral part of your business, and without them you would not profit. Working to develop strong relationships with your existing customers pays dividends every time since customer relationship marketing is many orders of magnitude cheaper than marketing and selling to new ones.

Although we often hear people assert "it's not personal, it's business" this is a falsehood - it is personal. People are at the heart of all businesses and when we ignore their uniqueness and fail to acknowledge their individual contributions, we run the real risk of alienating them - and damaging our bottom line to boot!

People like to do business with people they like and trust. So if you invest in the people of your business: the staff, vendors, and clients, you will ultimately be rewarded. Your company will also earn the reputation of being the place to work, and the business to do business with!  Ask yourself – what’s your likeability factor?


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