Ever wonder why one client has stayed with you for over a decade while the prospect you just spoke to abruptly ended things off after the first five minutes?
It all boils down to the connection you make and the value you articulate that happens within the first seconds of every call. While every prospect or business deal you encounter won’t be an ideal fit for your services or product, without a true connection right away your odds of success drop fast.
Just like the opening line of a book determines whether or not you want to keep flipping the pages, so does your first impression. You have seven seconds to make things “stick”, which ultimately will make or break the connection. Like it or not, this connection will dictate the outcome of your relationship success with potential new clients.
Here Are The Five Traits You Need To Build Successful Work Relationships:
The foundation for any successful and strong relationship is trust. For a prospect to move forward in business, they will need to feel they can trust you to some degree and feel comfortable with their decision making.
The value of trust is formed and strengthened by showing up consistently with integrity throughout your personal life on a daily basis. If you aren’t using these values in your everyday life, it will be challenging to implement with your prospects in a professional relationship. As it’s your daily habits that lead to the best success rates.
When it comes to prospects, frequently following up with them and providing valuable information influences them to believe you are an expert resource they can depend on. As you onboard a new client, it will be vital to follow through with actionable steps to create certainty in your connection. This shows integrity is essential in creating trust.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Having the ability to understand your prospect enables you to gain better leverage on how to engage and implement value. During the call, you will want to gather insight about your prospect through strategic discovery questions. Discovery questions are non-invasive, open-ended questions that uncover vital information on what your prospects are currently experiencing.
Once you understand their challenges, then you can empathize with their position. Relationships with prospects are built on emotions versus computerized data. This is the driving force in creating alignment. And, why building the connection is crucial before moving into the sale, business partnership, or agreement.
At the end of the day, most people want to feel heard and understood. Once you understand their “hell”, then you can provide them with the solution, or “heaven”, which genuinely benefits a mutual working relationship.
3. WE Mindset
Professional relationships are formed when two individuals have each other’s best interests that leads to mutual satisfaction. If you are only concerned about the future sale or one-upping your partner, then you are operating from a “ME” mindset which prevents you from forming a rock-solid relationship. Being able to actively listen to prospects or business partners is critical because this may determine whether or not they are willing to give you a chance.
Listening with intent gives purpose to the conversation and allows you to navigate the conversation respectfully for the greater whole of the relationship. This not only keeps you a step ahead but shows your assurance and ability to be great at what you do. Individuals are more inclined to take an interest in you when you take an interest in them first.
A “WE” mindset allows you to naturally bond with your prospects or partners to create synergy based on shared significance. This is where the magic happens to get you to the next level.
4. Effective Communication
Communication is the heart and core of every relationship. Prospects, business associates, and partners alike can determine your level of confidence through your communication style and tone of voice. The smallest waiver in your tone of voice will indicate whether or not you speak with conviction and can be a reliable resource. In fact, your tone of voice accounts for ninety percent of your communication and your choice of words only ten percent. The slightest abrasiveness or lack of flow in your tone can throw off the whole connection.
Assertive communication techniques are the most effective in getting your message across. This conveys to individuals you believe in yourself and what you bring to the table. Your message will need to be clear, concise, and constructive in your style of conversation, making it easy to be relatable and understandable. You’re always looking for a win-win outcome when it comes to building professional relationships.
5. Navigating Setbacks
Will every conversation result in a relationship? More than likely not. This is due to the complexities of personalities who are unable to find common ground. At times, there will be setbacks or even a “No” when doing business. This is where your grit, resilience, and negotiation skills will pull you out of the deep trenches. Becoming numb to “No” will keep your perseverance intact because not every prospect or business deal will be a perfect match. Owning your self-worth, having confidence and grit will keep driving you to success.
Resilience is a key component in your recovery strategy. Every attempt you make at a connection, whether successful or unsuccessful, there is something to gain or learn about the process. This allows you to build from your mistakes altering your strategy for success. Having a positive and growth mindset will be your best friend in getting back up each day until you reach your desired goals.
When it comes to negotiations, you’ll want to discover your prospects or business associates’ motives for personal gain. To do this, you will need to implement a technique called “playing naive.” This allows you to be three steps ahead in the plan by strategically asking questions in search of the answers. Uncovering the motive enables you to guide the conversation until you get the individual to spell it out directly what it is they need. Positioning yourself as an expert in solving their problem diffuses the differences to create an alliance.
Pulling It All Together:
The power of cultivating professional relationships lies within you. You are your best asset when it comes to leveraging and positioning yourself in the growth of your professional relationships. Applying these five fundamentals of relationship intelligence will guide you on your path to success. Believing in yourself, building trust, and creating an emotional connection will lead to success in no time.
This article was originally featured on Medium.
The Love Twins,
Jillian and Jan