Maintaining business relationships is an important part of growing in your career. When you have the ability to network with others, you can open yourself to new job opportunities and projects. Making connections with other professionals is also a good way to learn new skills, get helpful advice and gain new perspectives. Building relationships with all kinds of people can help you become more well-rounded and understanding of others.
1. Offer value to others
While you can benefit from your business relationships, you want to make sure you are reciprocating. Keep your business relationships moving forward by ensuring you are giving as much as you are getting. You may even want to put in extra effort to show that you have value to share. By doing someone a favor now, they may feel more inclined to help you in the future.
2. Regularly check in
Keep your business relationships thriving by regularly checking in with your contacts. Consider sending them an email or text message to see how they’re doing. You may even ask them to meet for lunch or a cup of coffee to catch up. When checking in, see how their professional life is going. Try to learn about any recent accomplishments or projects to show that you are interested in what they are doing. Checking in shows that you hope to keep your relationship moving forward.
3. Learn and share about goals
Discussing your career goals with your professional contacts can help you maintain your relationships. By knowing what they hope to accomplish, you can determine if there is anything you can do to help. The same can be true if you share your own goals with others. You may even discover that you have mutual goals with another person. Identifying this may lead you to work with one another or collaborate on a specific project.
5. Ask for feedback
Asking for feedback can help you become a better professional, and it shows people that you value their thoughts and opinions. While getting feedback from your mentors and peers is useful, it’s especially important to ask your clients, employees, colleagues and vendors for feedback.
By asking clients for feedback, you can implement better business practices and get more sales. By asking employees and colleagues for feedback, you can learn to be a better employer or coworker. Finally, by asking vendors for feedback, you can learn to be a better partner and keep this important connection thriving.
6. Express your gratitude
Showing your appreciation for what others do for you is an important part of nurturing business relationships. Whether it is a verbal “thank you” or a formally written letter, people appreciate receiving gratitude for what they do for others. You can even thank someone by doing something kind for them. For instance, if your colleague helped you with an important project, you could offer to buy them lunch or help them when they are busy at work.
7. Give praise and encouragement
Let your business contacts know you are following their work by giving them praise and support. For instance, if your contact shares a project they have been working on via social media, make sure to comment something nice. You can even send them a direct message to let them know you are proud of their work. The same is true if you ever notice a colleague did something good at work. Let them know you appreciate their efforts and consider highlighting their good work to the entire company.