Establishing and maintaining relationships is a vital aspect for a business of any size, in any sector and in any environment.
According to Mark Sanborn, international best-selling author and noted expert in team building, customer services and change, there are 7 B’s to relationship building (This is also known as; ‘The Fred factor’);
- Be real- Never try to impress anyone by being anyone but yourself
- Be interested- Not just interesting
- Be a better listener- When you take an interest and listen to people they provide information that can help you to create value
- Be empathetic- By being interested and listening, you understand how people feel
- Be honest- Say what you do and do what you say. Make no promises you can’t keep
- Be helpful- Little things make a big difference. Lots of little things can make a huge difference
- Be prompt- Being prompt and efficient is a gift of great value
All 7 points perhaps appear obvious. However, it is worth regularly asking ourselves, how effective is our ‘Fred Factor’?
Relationship building cannot be and should never be one sided. If you want help from others you should help them.
Having collaborative and trusting relationships with our clients and suppliers has been invaluable. We have also found that effective networking is integral to establishing and developing these relationships. By networking you have a better chance of locating the right people to work with and build these relationships. Curiously, even with the ever-increasing role social media plays in our lives, we have found word of mouth particularly helpful.
Without doubt, building successful relationships has proven invaluable here at DJ Learning. A good example came about a year ago when we were looking for someone to help with website design, a new adventure for us. We had done some research locally and found some very expensive options. We also asked our accountant if he could recommend anyone. Whilst not having a website himself he suggested we consider one of his clients. Fast forward a few months and our website went live (www.djlearning.co.uk) and has been very well received. We continue to enjoy an excellent working relationship with him and have happily recommended him to our clients/network. Similarly, when we were looking for a company to film and produce our vlogs, we worked with a London company who we had already met when working on a project with the University of London. We continue to enjoy an effective working partnership with them. Very high ‘Fred Factors’ apply here!!
So, our relationship building will always evolve and change. We continue to learn from, add value to and enjoy each of our business relationships.