SMart entrepreneurs know that great relationships are the wind behind the sail of a successful business launch. Relationships with lenders, suppliers, customers, employees – and even competitors – can make or break a business.
Like a skilled general, a wise business owner will master the art of winning hearts and forging alliances. The reason is simple. People prefer to support and work with those they love and trust.
I hosted a live Q&A session with successful founders where we discussed strategies for building relationships that support you and move you forward in business. Here are their top tips:
Always show up and leave your agenda at the door
Kara Richardson Whitely
Kara Richardson Whitely’s philosophy is simple: be seen and be useful.
She’s an influencer and advisor, helping brands connect with the often overlooked plus size market, which accounts for two-thirds of American women.
“Showing up to networking events and taking the time to get to know people in a non-transactional way has led to deeper relationships and greater opportunities.”
The body-positive triple threat (adventurer, author, and influencer) embraces inclusivity and actively seeks ways to get to know and help the diverse cadre of influencers in her growing network. Her constant “being” even led to a referral for a dream project that took her all the way to Puerto Rico.
Undoubtedly, Whitely’s popularity within her network helps her business thrive.
“There are a lot of opportunities for all of us to go around.”
Take advantage of multiple communities
Founder Rebecca Orlov credits her communities for giving her the juice to entirely rebrand her marketing consultancy, Epic Playdate. These relationships have also helped her onboard long-term clients. and consultants for his business. She says meaningful involvement in her communities requires special attention.
“I wholeheartedly invest time in my particular communities. I engage and inform myself in the same way, while actively listening and supporting. »
Orlov says being “present, compassionate, and caring” is key to building successful relationships.
Simply? Kindness matters. And her business benefits from the good karma she sends among her communities.
“What I’m trying to get is just a connection. “I to feel better. I’m connecting with more people and, honestly, I’ve never been happier.
Open every door like yourself
Sally Wolf knows that authenticity is a magnet for abundance. The corporate wellness expert and founder of LightWorks empowers her clients to thrive by infusing authenticity into everything they do, then empowering their teams to do the same.
Wolf also applies this commitment to authenticity to everything she does herself. She describes a recent experience where she accepted an interview invitation on LinkedIn Live, because the circumstances “seemed right.”
“My mindset wasn’t to land a big client as a result of this interview. It’s too far and that would have taken me out of the present moment. Instead, I focused on the instilling an upbeat, positive energy and personal authenticity throughout the conversation I believe that if we do this every time we show up, whether it’s to reconnect with a former colleague or meet someone again, we will open the right doors at the right time.
In this perfect, “just right” moment on LinkedIn Live, Wolf shone, coming across as authentic and real. She even got a cold call from a very impressed viewer.
The result? Wolf landed a five-figure dream client a month just by being authentic herself.
Focus on quality research – and be creative
Dayna Lapkovsky, founder of the frank leadership community, describes how curious creativity has helped her cement new relationships:
“While building a successful startup, I hand-delivered a giant chess piece with a personalized note to 10 highly targeted decision makers who I identified as dream customers. The total cost was around $700.
While the financial investment was relatively small, Lapkovsky’s time investment was significant. She conducted detailed research to learn more about her identified leads, which helped her narrow down the 10 she thought might be a good fit.
Taking the time to learn about her outlook has also helped her build what she calls the “wow” factor in her awareness.
“I came to them with two points of ‘wow. The first was the element of surprise, which was the actual gift. The second part was curiosity. In this personalized note, I tapped into something that piqued their interest and demonstrated my interest in them.
She landed appointments with the majority of her prospects, and closed 2 of them as clients.
“Much of my outreach is cold, but through research I am able to connect and open the gateways for greater conversation.”
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.