To be successful in business, it is critical to build and maintain relationships. Not just with customers, but also with vendors, employees and competitors. You need to have long-term customers and good vendor relationships especially during challenging times or tight deadlines. Good relationships with other business owners allow you to share your struggles, resources and best practices that can give you an edge in business. Of course, any relationship will involve give and take.
It’s easy to neglect business relationships. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care, but you simply got very busy with other priorities and those relationships went without check-ins or contact. Failure to nurture these relationships will cause them to wither away. Without reaching out, customers, vendors and employees can imagine any number of reasons why you’ve been distant. None of which are usually very flattering. Are you truly only keeping relationships that will benefit you, or do you genuinely wish to nurture them and keep them growing?
If you’re busy, what can you do? Well, it may sound mechanical, but you could maintain a relationship database that includes not just customers, but vendors and other contacts as well. This would be one central spot where all your communication can be recorded. It will help you to remember what was said last time and how much time it’s been since your last contact. This way when you reach out to someone, it doesn’t appear as though the only time you do it is when you want something.
Make it part of your routine to reach out. Set aside time every day or week to connect with people. A quick phone call or email is often all it takes to stay connected and it could mean more than you realize. Make sure to listen and encourage feedback so that your relationship is not one way.
Tired of sending the same old ‘touching base’ messages? Here are some simple ideas to energize your business email:
1. Set a Rhythm –Short has more energy than long. But consider the rhythm created by several sentences in a row. Short/short/short. That’s a rhythm. Short/long/short. That’s another one. The one to avoid is long/long/long – it will drag your reader down.
2. Add colour – Mix in the odd adjective with the facts. They’ll trigger memory and emotion. Try saying splendid, stupendous, rollicking, grand instead of just ‘great’.
3. Surprise them – Thrown in a quick aside about your mood of the day, a sudden turn in the weather, or a humorous observation. Make sure it’s brief! This will make your email stick. 90% of the time, your reader will play off this aside in the response.
Make sure that your communication is always sincere. If you’re interested in other ways to nurture your business relationships, contact Forge Coaching and Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (905) 873-9393.