Cultivating an authentic relationship in the corporate world requires more than exchanging pleasantries. To create fruitful professional relationships, you’ll need to carefully nurture meaningful connections, allowing them to develop over time rather than rushing them. Get the delicate balance right, and you’ll benefit from long-lasting, established bonds with clients, investors, and other stakeholders.
To help you grow such strong corporate relationships, here are five tips for making genuine connections at work:
1. Make an Impactful Impression.
It’s essential to make a lasting positive impression on those you wish to connect with long-term. This means going the extra mile whenever the opportunity arises. You could, for example, choose follow-up calls instead of emails. Some other easy options include remembering personal details, contacting them to let them know about new products they could benefit from, and sending unique promotional office gifts to say thank you. Every little bit of extra effort will help you cultivate stronger connections.
Remember that to make an impact, you have to go beyond surface-level pleasantries. Your clients and potential customers already have generic connections with many people, so you have to get creative if you want to make an impression.
2. Listen, Understand, Empathise.
As we mentioned in tip one, personalized gifts are important when it comes to thanking clients. It’s a good idea to expand this personalization ethos into your conversations too. In other words, skip the sales scripts and the corporate jargon.
A lot of people in the corporate world choose to take the easy route and stick with scripts and generic conversations. This is what people are used to, which means that if you make the effort to listen, understand, and empathize with people, you will stand out in all the right ways. To make a real impression, see the person, not the opportunity.
3. Be Transparent.
A lack of transparency makes 86% of people likely to take their business to a competitor. In professional relationships, transparency is trust and trust is everything. This doesn’t mean giving every detail all the time, but it does mean sharing all relevant information openly and honestly. This includes information that is difficult or uncomfortable to convey – the transparency of sharing those things strengthens credibility and builds trust.
4. Share Knowledge Without Expectation.
An overwhelming majority – 90% of consumers in fact – actively seek video content from brands. Modern consumers have a strong preference for shared, valuable information that isn’t solely created to drive sales. Similarly, within corporate circles, providing genuinely beneficial information without a hidden agenda is a great way to gain positive responses.
Whether you’re sharing contacts, introducing people, providing advice, delivering insider knowledge, or sending links to helpful content, sharing truly is caring in the corporate setting. These gestures show you care about the person’s success and personal growth, which actively fosters a stronger professional bond.
5. Encourage True Interaction.
Phone calls and face-to-face connections are invaluable for allowing that true person-to-person chemistry to work its magic. Even better, try not to just meet in bland, corporate environments. Instead, look for environments your clients will enjoy.
A wine club, a private chef’s table dinner, an exclusive event – these are enjoyable, memorable occasions you can organize for client meetings so that it’s not “all business.” Importantly, these kinds of meetings should not be reserved for times when you want to ask something of the client or pitch to them. Treat them to quality experiences at other times too. Otherwise, it could be construed as schmoozing and disingenuous.
From exciting events to thoughtful gestures, these tips will help you elevate your professional relationships. Embrace genuine connections, and watch your corporate network go from strength to strength.