7 ways to build great business relationships

7 ways to build great business relationships

 26 Aug 2022

Relationships matter. They are fundamental to every aspect of our lives. Consider them in a business environment and they can be the difference between success and failure.

So how do we build great business relationships that will stand the test of time?



Being a great listener sounds obvious, but it is actually an important life skill. People want to be properly heard and understood. If you take the time to really listen, you may identify other services you can offer your clients to assist them. The more you understand their issues, the better you can provide solutions to help them solve them.


Keep counsel

It’s one thing to listen, quite another to keep someone’s confidence. If you pass on someone else’s intellectual property, then all trust is lost, along with the relationship and your professional credibility. Part of building relationships is showing yourself to be ethical and discreet.


Go the extra mile

This doesn’t have to incur costs, just a bit of extra effort and thought on your part that would mean something to the recipient. Think outside the box. What can you do to add additional value to your contact and show them that they and their business are important to you?


Take responsibility

Things go wrong sometimes, they just do. Even with the most meticulous planning, we don’t always get things 100% right all of the time. Hold your hands up as soon as you identify the issue, apologise, and tell them what steps you are taking to fix things.



Behind any business transaction sit human beings, not robots. Understand that you are dealing with a whole person who has both a professional and a personal life. Sometimes one may impact on the other. That’s just life.

If you accord all your business relationships the same level of empathy that you would appreciate yourself, you are on to a winner. A little understanding can go a long way in strengthening a connection, and lead to mutual respect.


Share knowledge

You are no doubt an expert in your field. What is obvious to you may not be obvious to someone else, and your knowledge could be extremely useful to them. This could be anything from market information, putting technical issues into layman’s terms, giving background and perspective, to explaining how things work in practice etc.

You will absolutely know things your client doesn’t, whether that be subject matter specific or just wider market intelligence.

We are not talking about privileged information here, but rather sharing knowledge that shows you have your finger on the pulse. The more credible you are, the more likely your contacts are to seek your help and advice in future.


Have fun

The best relationships are ones that are not only commercially fruitful, but also ones you can enjoy. Building rapport doesn’t just have to be a mutual meeting of minds on the subject matter at hand. If you are able to laugh together and enjoy each other’s company, then so much the better.


The above is by no means an exhaustive list. There are myriad ways to build great relationships and each person will respond to different approaches. Watch, listen and learn. Trust your instincts.

Above all, aim to leave the person feeling better for having had that interaction with you.



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