The phrase “work-life balance” is thrown around a lot today, but it’s not applicable in all aspects of daily life. In fact, as business development professional Fahim Imam-Sadeque explains, the relationships you form in work are just as meaningful as the relationships you develop in your “personal life.”
Many of these work relationships will impact aspects of your life outside of the job. Because of this, you must develop and maintain business relationships effectively.
Here are some ways that you can do just that.
Offer to Help
One of the best ways to build business relationships is to offer to help coworkers and associates before you ask someone else for help. If you want to establish good relationships in business, you shouldn’t just reach out to people when you need something.
This goes for coworkers and for current and former clients and business associates. If you only reach out any time you want to sell them something or have something new to offer, then you’re not likely to establish a truly solid two-way relationship.
Simply offering your assistance will go a long way in doing the opposite.
Be in Front of Others
Out of sight, out of mind. That’s a saying that has a lot of merit.
When you constantly stay in contact with people on a routine basis, you will stay in the front of their minds. This is especially important for your most critical contacts, vendors, partners and clients.
When you remain in contact with people, you’re more likely to be the first person who comes to their mind when they need something from you. This can help boost your performance at work and your sales in the long run.
People trust other people who take a genuine interest in their thoughts, feelings and opinions. When you invite people to give you feedback on how you’re doing — or what’s being asked of them — you’re opening the lines of communication as much as you can.
Doing this will help you promote two-way communication, which is essential in any genuine relationship — personal or professional. While you may be forced to provide feedback at work — or ask others to do so — inviting feedback on an informal basis when it’s not expected is something that many people value.
Be Honest and Respectful
People are very busy. They don’t want to feel as if their time is wasted, as every minute is precious.
You must be honest in all your business relationships. You have to feel comfortable enough that you can share your concerns, and the person on the other end of the relationship has to feel that way, too.
When both parties in a relationship are honest and feel comfortable sharing, then more meaningful things can be accomplished through the relationship.
Similarly, you should be very respectful of other people’s time. This means not taking up more time than you need and also communicating at the times that are preferable to them. If you know that someone is busy during the mornings, don’t bother them during that time, for instance.
All sides are looking to get something personal out of a relationship. Whether it’s getting help from a coworker to finish one of your tasks or making a sale with a potential client, everyone has something personal to gain from a business relationship.
At the same time, Fahim Imam-Sadeque says that it’s important to approach your business relationships with the thought that you’re on the same team. Everyone in a relationship should feel as if they benefit from that relationship. If it’s too one-sided, it’s not likely to develop into a long-lasting, fruitful relationship.
About Fahim Imam-Sadeque
Fahim Imam-Sadeque is a business development professional with proven experience in the asset management industry. He has a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Science from the City University of London and is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries. Fahim’s top skills include asset management, hedge funds, investment management, sales, and consultant & client relationship management.