You might not know yet, but I’m a Southerner. I grew up where it was hot and sticky, attended the University of Tennessee (Go Vols!), and worked in Atlanta for years. My first question to you might just be, “How’s your Mama?” because I really do want to know how your mom is doing, but also because I know it matters to people to check in on their loved ones. I also lived and worked in Santiago, Chile and in Seattle, Washington and ran a number of strategic marketing programs throughout Europe where I got to know and respect my colleagues across the pond.
The point of this walk down my memory lane is that I have a wide network of people that are important to me, that I want to stay in touch with, and with whom I want to maintain relationships. Work and life get busy, but these relationships took time to build and are meaningful to me, so it’s important that I put in the work to keep them up, stay in touch and keep on asking, “How’s your Mama?” because that matters not only to me but to my friends and colleagues.
It’s no different in business, really. Relationships are the beating heart of every facet of business, and no matter what the marketing trend-du-jour looks like, our successes on the work front are often founded in our ability to connect on a personal level. This connection can be strained, however, by our crazy schedules that often have us plowing through so many deliverables that engaging personally with any one connection gets lost. Our relationships can become superficial, which inhibits our ability to do our best work and make progress.
So, how do we build these relationships that drive business success? That’s something I just wrote about in an article for Business2Community – 4 Secrets to Building Valuable Relationships. Whether you’re an extrovert like me, or building rapport is more of a struggle for you, the steps involve a little bit of heart and a lot of common sense. Let’s take a look at what they look like:
These steps really aren’t that different than those we would take in our personal relationships. It’s about thinking about the other party and making sure we have their interests at heart as well as our own. I truly believe that if we are to make progress in our business initiatives with our partners, impersonal communication just won’t do. We have to invest in relationships that drive results.
Please give the article a read and let me know what you think. What would you add to the list? Do you see one of the steps differently? As always, I’m eager for your feedback and available at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about it!
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Author: Ray Kemper
Ray is a Senior Global Marketing & Management executive with over 20 years experience in driving growth, innovation, & revenue in the consumer, enterprise & small business segments. Follow me on Twitter. Find me on LinkedIn.