5 Keys to Establishing & Cultivating Quality Business Relationships

We all know that people do business with people they know, like and trust.     That the value you offer is directly correlated to a person’s desire to stay connected with you over time.

So today I wanted to share 5 key strategies to assist you in establishing and cultivating quality relationships so that people have the experience of being REALLY happy they know you, and not hesitating for a second to help you out in return.

1. Be Strategic

Know who the movers and shakers are and find ways to get in close proximity to them.  Who are the leaders in your community?  The decision makers?  The connectors?  If possible, research who they are and what they’re interested ahead of time, so that you can make a strong first impression.  We all know that you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!

2. Make an Impact

Have courage and introduce yourself.  Or even better, if you have a mutual connection and it’s someone they respect, have that person make the introduction.  This will create an opening and establish instant credibility and rapport.

If you’re introducing yourself online, don’t just send a quick friend request to their social media sites ~ ask compelling questions that show you have an interest in what they’re working on and make the conversation exciting and engaging.  I highly recommend sending them a personal video introduction.  This way they don’t just read what you have to say that’s important and valuable, but they hear you, see you, and feel your energy and passion.  They see that you’ve put effort in to this and are willing to differentiate yourself from the masses.

And most important, if you do get the chance to connect in person, maintain your composure and confidence, stand tall, give a firm handshake (yes, even you women!), make eye contact, smile ….. and approach each contact as if it is the beginning of a long-term, high-value relationship.  Because this could be the most important contact you ever make! So expect great things, and do everything you can to make your time with them memorable.

3. Find Out What’s Important to Them

Ask high-mileage questions.  I have found that a question expressing your genuine interest in their current projects and passions is one of the very best places to start.   Find out what keeps them awake at night …. what has them face each day with the energy and enthusiasm that you found so attractive and had you wanting to connect.

Here are a few of my favorites rapport building questions to get you started:

  • What is the most important project you are currently involved in, in case I or someone I know can be a resource to you?
  • Who is your perfect customer/ partner in case I can refer you business?
  • What has been the biggest challenge of you career and who helped you?
  • What do you do for fun when you are not doing _________?
  • Have you had any mentors?  If yes ~ What was the most valuable lesson you learned from them?
  • What is most important to you personally and in business?

Get creative, actively listen and take mental notes, and then be sure to write them down as soon as you can after the conversation!

4. Help Them Get What They Want

To truly set yourself apart as a person worthy of long-term connection and relationship, it is critical that you do your part to help both of you benefit from this new relationship.  And the best way for you to get what you want, is to help them get what they want!

You’ve asked the important, high-mileage questions, and now it’s time to see how you can assist them in furthering their mission.  Who do you know that can solve a problem they might be facing or complete a project they’re working on faster or more effectively?  Do you know someone that fits their description of their ideal contact?  If you didn’t ask these questions, you are missing out on a gem of relationship building!  In my experience, being a connector is one of the very best way to demonstrate your value, and have people remembering you and wanting to assist you with your projects and passions in return.

Hint:  The more organized you are with your contacts and resources, the easier it is to be a great connector! 🙂

5. Establish a Consistent and Meaningful Follow-Up System

I wrote a post a while back called The Fortune Really IS in the Follow Up, and you might want to check that out to learn the very telling statistics about the power of follow-up.  If after reading them you are not doing everything in your power to create a system for following up, then you must not want to succeed, because there are not many people doing it, which makes this a critical place for you to shine!

People need to believe in you and know that their money, time, energy, etc. will be well spent.  It’s a process of establishing trust and credibility, and this means that you must be consistent in your communications.  Consistent in frequency, consistent in the value you have to offer, and consistent in your desire to champion THEIR mission.

Personally, I use multiple avenues for follow up, including email, autoresponders, skype, telephone and social media.  My favorite method is video email, because of the distinct power behind video communication.  Video creates a level of connection and authenticity that is often lost in simple text or audio messages, and because it lends itself to multiple communication styles, you have a much higher likelihood of being remembered.  This is why I suggested this as both a great initial contact method, and for follow-up as well. 🙂

The bottom line is that it’s not just what you know, but who you know, that can vastly influence your success in business.  So taking time to establish and cultivate quality relationships is, without a doubt, one of the most productive uses of your time and energy.

I’d love to hear from you, what is your favorite relationship building strategy? Leave me a message in the comments, and of course, if you’ve benefited from this post, be sure to use the buttons at the top to share around the various social sites!

To Your Successful & Prosperous Relationships,

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95 Responses to “5 Keys to Establishing & Cultivating Quality Business Relationships”

  1. Thanks Adrian, and yes I agree. The only way to know what your market wants is to test drive the things you think they are craving and track your results. It is ALL in the execution/ action….absolutely! 🙂

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  2. Thanks Paul, glad you found the steps clear, simple and sequential, that was my hope! And yes, it makes no sense how some people try to connect blindly on social sites ~ relationships REQUIRE depth and value to work, at least in my world! 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

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  3. Hi Melodie ~ yes, great tip. I do that as well. Just taking a minute to scan their profile and see what you have in common, or something that inspired you to ask a question about something there passionate about instantly lays the foundation for great potential in the relationships. Thanks so much!

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  4. Absolutely ~ be consistently focused on the little things and we can make the biggest difference! Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. I agree ~ when we are open to connecting, and particularly to being in service to the person we’re connecting with, you never know what doors will open because of that. Thanks for your comment and for stopping by, Dan!

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  6. Hi Sadie~ While business does have a large numbers game effect to it, you are right …. building quality relationships will dramatically decrease your numbers because people will know, like and trust you….therefore be likely to do repeat business and refer others to you. So important! Thanks for your support. 🙂

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  7. Thanks Tammy. I (obviously) 🙂 am big on the handshake piece too. Both men and women, a handshake tells A LOT about the person’s confidence and presence. Glad you enjoyed this post, and thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Those are some great tips Beth. Those are some great questions you suggested to get conversations going with people and build communication and a relationship. Communication is key! Which ever you chose to use, use it! 🙂
    LeeAnn Townsend´s last blog post ..Is the your business opportunity better off worked at home or what

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  9. Thanks John! Yes, operating from a place of service without expectation of anything in return will always bring about the greatest return! 🙂 I’ve always enjoyed our connections and conversations, and appreciate your giving nature. Thanks so much!

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  10. Thanks Perry. While I haven’t read Endless Referrals, I have read and LOVE The Go-Giver by Bob Burg, so I’m sure it’s a great read! I agree that asking questions is an art ~ a practice in creating openings to connect, learn more and discover how your relationships could be mutually served by one another. Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. So glad you found this post valuable and insightful. Yes, trust is always a foundation of any relationship ~ business or personal. Enjoy putting these tips into practice. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Thea!

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  12. Thanks Dereck. Yes, there is something interesting about networkers ~ even those that are natural connectors and listeners in their personal lives often get so caught up in their excitement for their opportunity, or perhaps their nerves about how to present it, that they go straight to pitching and forget about the most important step ~ rapport building! A lot to learn as a newbie, and I definitely believe that the best place to start is with basics like this. Glad you enjoyed it!

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  13. Thanks Jaclyn! Yes, video is an incredibly strong and growing platform to connect faster and more authentically online. And glad to hear you found value in these questions ~ thanks for your support, and our blossoming friendship! 🙂

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  14. Thanks Kevin ~ yep, the more ways we can “touch” our market, the better we can serve them. Glad you enjoyed this post, and thanks for stopping by.

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  15. interesting post. as i see it, every step is as important. if you have your business perfect but you do not establish follow-up with your customers, you may loss quite some. in business every step is important

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    bethallen Reply:

    I agree that every step is important ~ it is really a process that flows into success. Miss out on one and inevitably your business will not thrive as it would if you engaged in that step. Thanks for visiting, Joana!

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  16. Beth:

    It’s great that you have helped me and lot more people like with such a valuable knowledge base. I see all that you have mentioned especially looking ahead into client’s future requirement and understanding their psychology to please them are a really a inevitable ascpects of a good business and also a good marketing professional. Thanks again for that good information.

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    bethallen Reply:

    So glad you found the information here so valuable. Yes, understanding human psychology is definitely beneficial in the relationship building process, but the basics of seeking first to understand and then be understood, of service, of authenticity….those basics will take you far! Thanks for visiting, Raees!

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  17. Lots of great tips here. Communication is the key to success. Your consumers need to trust you and you need to trust them. Communication enables you to get to know each other. I particularly liked the concept of the video message, definitely more personal. Thanks 🙂

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    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Lynda. Yes, without clear, authentic communication, relationships will spin in circles or just slip into the oblivion! Are you currently using video in your communication? It is definitely powerful! Glad you enjoyed these tips, and thanks for stopping by!

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  18. Beth,

    You and I are just beginning to become friends, and this post has impressed me with the value in your blog. Of course I subscribed, and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of the wisdom you share.

    If you read my blog you will see how much I agree with all your points, but the area where I need the most improvement is the follow up.

    Thank you for your helpful reminder: “Hint: The more organized you are with your contacts and resources, the easier it is to be a great connector!”

    I am hereby making a committment to myself to practice your fifth strategy: “Establish a Consistent and Meaningful Follow-Up System.”

    Thanks for the kick in the pants!
    Buddy Hodges@Social Media Relationships´s last blog post ..Social Capital Futures

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    bethallen Reply:

    I appreciate that greatly, Buddy! It has been a while since I was on your blog, but will head back there today as I definitely remember it was filled with great wisdom and shared insights! 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the take-away about organization, it truly makes a world of difference! I look forward to hearing more about how your new follow up system is going!

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  19. Hello Beth, this is a very nice article you got here. I have a lot of friends, especially on Facebook, it’s thousands, but our relation was just “friends”. I don’t build a high quality friendship. Networking is always important. But it has to be a an effective networking, not just a plain one. Another great post. Thanks.
    Andrew Walker´s last blog post ..Fashion4home Coupon

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hey Andrew, glad you enjoyed it! Sounds like you have a lot of contacts, and now it’s time to invest in seeing where developing those relationships can take you! Friend me up on facebook and you can start with me! 🙂

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  20. Wow, great tips on building strong business relationships. Sometimes it’s the little things that you reference in your post that do make all the difference. Wonderful training information for anyone new to the business world looking to really make the most of their most precious assets – people!
    Hans Schoff´s last blog post ..Creating Wealth – The Type Of Income You’re Making May Be Costing You The Most

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    bethallen Reply:

    Absolutely, it is usually the little things that make the BIGGEST difference! Not only in business but all relationships! Glad you enjoyed this training, Hans, thanks for visiting!

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  21. Hi Beth, great post. I really like your point about having a good system to keep in touch with contacts. Because quite often it takes time for quality business contacts to develop. All the best Rosemary
    Rosemary´s last blog post ..Calling Dropbox Fans who are IPad or iPhone Owners Check This Out

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Rosemary ~ Yes, a good system for keeping in touch and doing so in a way that makes you memorable is so important. Glad I could offer some helpful tips! 🙂

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  22. Recently I’ve been introduced to the idea of building a team — but have absolutely no idea who that needs to be or how to go about doing it. So this post caught my eye. Thanks for treating this subject, first of all, and for giving such good suggestions. I know this is the place to begin to build a team.
    Pastor Sherry´s last blog post ..Veery Unusual Music

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Pastor Sherry ~ I’m glad you’ve benefited from this post, and I’d be happy to chat with you more about team building strategy if you’d like! You can find me on skype or facebook at bethnelsonallen. Best of luck to you! 🙂

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  23. Hi Beth,

    This is an excellent article about building relationships in business and nurturing those relationships. You quoted “being a connector is one of the very best way to demonstrate your value, and have people remembering you and wanting to assist you with your projects and passions in return.” This quote summarizes it all! You listed 5 steps to developing quality relationships:

    1. Be Strategic
    2. Make an Impact
    3. Find Out What’s Important to Them
    4. Help Them Get What They Want
    5. Establish a Consistent and Meaningful Follow-Up System

    I think #4 is the key to your list. Help them get what they want has been printed or quoted thousands of times in internet online business courses, webinars, dvd’s etc.

    Matt Gieb, the Great, presented his list:
    1) Do Something…take Action!
    2) Do not just seek Help, But look to Give Help to others
    3) Be of Service to others
    4) Find a Need & then meet that need
    5) Do not just Focus on the $$, but the process

    I noticed that 3 of the 5 are about service and helping people. With the consensus of both list, it is vital that we really grasp how important service is to our colleges and developing lifelong relationships. I know in 4 short months I have established lifelong friends through my business. The internet gives limitless opportunities to meet and establish fantastic relationships. Also,we must follow etiquette guidelines similar to what we do offline to create relationships.

    Thanks Beth!

    Raena Lynn

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    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Reana Lynn, thanks for a great comment and sharing Matt’s list. I couldn’t agree more that #4 is the heart of it ~ when we operate from a place of selfless service, we create openings and possibilities that are amazingly abundant! Thanks for your contributions. 🙂

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  24. Seems like it’s all about who you know to get where you want to be. However, doing it in a classy and respectful way is what some people miss. Thanks for your tips and article. Taking away some great information.

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    bethallen Reply:

    Who you surround yourself with is absolutely essential ~ and yes, treating your relationships with class and respect will lead you where you are wanting to go. Glad you benefited from this post, Uri.

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  25. Hi Beth,

    This is an excellent article about 5 Keys to Establishing & Cultivating Quality Business Relationships. Here are a few of my thoughts:

    1.Be Strategic-You suggested to find out who the movers and shakers are in the industry. Make a list of the areas you are involved with such as social media, SEO, blogging, niche, Facebook, mobile marketing, sales systems, product development, ROI, tribe syndication, elite communities etc. Attach the people who are the main attractions in each area. Begin to develop relationships with members from some of the communities and begin to establish yourself among the elite. One thing I have learned is that the most successful people I’ve met on the internet are the kindest and most generous people I’ve ever met. They understand the concept of helping people get what they want and that is why they are either “gurus” or highly effective in the industry

    2. Make an Impact-Become engaged. I really like your idea of video email. It is not only the best means of communication, but it is also the future. Technology is giving us the gift to create and deliver a video message almost as quick as a text message, which doesn’t provide the richness of a video.

    3. Find Out What’s Important to Them-I appreciate your list of questions. All of them are designed to find out more about the other person so we can be of the best service to them and helping them offer solutions.

    4. Help Them Get What They Want-I wonder if Zig Ziglar really understood the impact this single sentence would have made on the world?

    5. Establish a Consistent and Meaningful Follow-Up System-I want to emphasize your point, “If after reading them you are not doing everything in your power to create a system for following up, then you must not want to succeed, because there are not many people doing it, which makes this a critical place for you to shine! Ask yourself, do you want to be unique? This is what do do. Follow-Up by designing an effective follow-up system.

    Thanks again for your “high value” content.

    Raena Lynn

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    bethallen Reply:

    And thank you for your “high value” comments, as always Raena Lynn! Your really contribute a lot in your responses, and it is greatly appreciated. 🙂

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  26. The usefulness, excellent communication can give you is just remarkable. When you do that, more people will easily trust you and be willing to do business with you. Its really a give and take relationship. Well-written list Beth. 🙂

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  27. Hi Beth,
    You posts are always very informative and in this tutorial you have shared very good 5 keys to establish a quality business relationship.These keys are simple and can easily be followed.
    Pete Goumas´s last blog post ..TimepiecesUSA Review

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  28. This is some great advice! Establishing a good business relationship is crucial for continued business and future business success. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  29. Very useful post. Most individuals do not invest time in relationships which are not mutually beneficially, whether it is business relationships or personal relationships. One thing that I have noticed is that in business, no matter what stage you are at in the process, whether you are an entrepreneur, or a seasoned business professional, you are constantly building relationships. And within all this, your first suggestion really jumps, “Be strategic”. I personally feel that once this part is accomplished, the rest helps solidifies the relationship. Very good read.
    Stimulus Strategies Networking´s last blog post ..How to create brand culture through strategic networking

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  30. Building stronger, longer-lasting business relationships takes time and cultivation. Great post, thanks for that very useful list of tips.

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  31. Wow, wonderful blog structure! How lengthy have you
    ever been running a blog for? you made blogging look easy.
    The full look of your website is wonderful, as well as the content!
    Roseann@curing toenail fungus´s last blog post ..curing toenail fungus

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  32. You have given a good points for establishing relationships with business. However, before getting into any business, I think a good understanding of business is required. And equally important is the understanding of economy. This can be done by studying online managerial economics (ECO 550).

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Fatima~ thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I do think it can be very helpful to understand business and the economy, but I also know a lot of people with little knowledge in either category who have thriving businesses! Belief, passion, committment, perseverance and of course connections all trump knowledge in my book. 🙂 A balance of all of the above would certainly be ideal.

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