5 Tips On How to Build Rapport With AnyoneHaving good people around you is key to building your business. But who are these people, and how can they help you succeed?
Along with sales strategies and business negotiations, building rock-solid business relationships is an integral part of your brand’s success. Your business network should consist of qualified, reliable people that you can count on for advice and support.
We consulted Barbara Katz, an interpersonal communication specialist and co-founder of ConnectInc., a business networking firm, for tips on building lasting business relationships in today’s professional world.
Always start with a win-win attitude
The best business relationships offer something beneficial for both parties.
“Regardless of whom you are doing business with – be it clients, customers, suppliers, colleagues or other professionals – when one party feels they’ve been ‘short-changed’ in the deal, resentment builds,” Katz said. “For business relationships to thrive long-term, everyone needs to prosper.”
Don’t pigeonhole others
The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” applies to potential business relationships, too.
“We all make snap judgments and assumptions about who we think other people are based on their appearance, mannerisms, clothing choices and/or body language,” Katz said. “The truth is, none of these factors reveal who they truly are or what they might bring to a business relationship. They might be our next best customer or referral source.”
Katz recommended looking at the person as a blank canvas when meeting for the first time.
“Have a conversation with them and find out about them, and whether there’s a ‘click’ between you.”
Ditch the superficial small talk
“Striking up conversations with new people can be awkward and nerve-wracking. But don’t revert to talking about the weather or other mundane topics. Conventional chit-chat is just a time-filler and doesn’t help you get to know people on a deeper level,” Katz said.
Instead, Katz recommended asking open-ended questions to learn where the two of you can air common interests and shared goals so you can help each other.
“Understanding what is important to others creates a sense of connectedness you can build upon. Allowing yourself to be open, go deeper and have your personality shine through will make you stand out in the crowd as well.”
Become the person you want to do business with
Ask yourself, who do you want to do business with? Chances are you want someone with high integrity who is trustworthy, accommodating, positive, reliable and solution-oriented. Guess what? So do successful business people – the kind of people you want to do business with.
“Set your personal standards high so you are the person with whom you would most want to do business,” Katz said. “And you’ll attract those kinds of people in return.”
Warmth always wins
Showing our vulnerability is part of what makes us authentic, and that’s the piece that is most effective and relatable to others.
“People do business with other people, not business robots. Long after a conversation is over, what the other person remembers is not what you said, but how you made them feel,” Katz said.
She suggested taking the time to genuinely listen when others are speaking while staying present and smiling easily with open body language. “The more at ease you are, the more you will naturally make them feel comfortable.”