Your 2018 Plan to Forge Strong Business Relationships


If creating strong business relationships was easy, everybody would do it. The truth is that making authentic, meaningful connections requires dedicated effort. Here’s how to get started in 2018.

It’s a new year, and if you’re like most people, you’re setting some big goals. For business leaders, growth is almost always at the top of the list—and everyone knows that strong business relationships are the cornerstone of growth. To help you make your goals a reality, we’ve pulled together three tried-and-true strategies to help you attract meaningful business connections and solidify your existing ones.

1 | Make time for face-to-face meetings

Meeting in person for coffee or a meal is without a doubt the most effective way to create a solid bond that lays the groundwork for a strong business relationship. Four out of five people say they prefer in-person meetings specifically because they create more meaningful connections, and studies show that face-to-face conversations are generally more positive overall. The vast majority of communication is non-verbal, after all, and 55% of what you say is interpreted based on your facial expressions alone!

When three out of four people say they are influenced by how a person looks (and their handshake), that’s reason alone to get out of the office and meet people in person.

2 | Say thanks often

Saying thank you should be an essential part of your overall marketing strategy, year ‘round. A thoughtful gift is a powerful way to say thanks and to build strong business relationships. Inside your company, a well-chosen gift can boost employee loyalty and even improve productivity. It’s critical to think of saying thank you as an investment, not an expense: Studies show that a well-timed and personalized gift can truly boost your bottom line.

A thank you strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply consider your goals and set a budget. Then make a list of people with whom you want to build strong business relationships, and find gifts with a wow factor. Sit back and watch your business grow.

3 | Serve, don’t sell

Savvy companies have come to understand that in 2018, serving is the new selling. If you want to build strong business relationships, you need to create an emotional connection with your customers by helping them achieve their goals and dreams.

Find ways to help them solve problems, or share information and resources that will make life better. Whether online or off, find ways to position yourself and your company as an inspiring, trustworthy source of information. When people like and trust you, you’ll have a much easier time making the sale.

There’s nothing magical about these three tips. Even in our modern, technology-driven world, the simple truth remains that the best way to get results is to focus on connecting with people—seeing them, serving them, and offering a gift to show your gratitude.

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