One of the main shifts in business today is turning away from a merely transactional mindset and gearing towards building more authentic relationships for sustainable growth in business to business relationships, as well as connecting to the customers and consumers of our brands. In this article I share two strong tips as to how to build authentic relationships in your business that lasts.
“Be intentional” is often something I say to myself when creating marketing content for branding, before and while engaging in business meetings and when I interact with partners and my customers. It has been one of the foundational principles that I have learned and applied at Okoko Cosmetiques. It’s true that the main reason why one runs a business is to make money, because without that there is no business. That can be achieved by having a mindset of intentionality in your business relations which makes a massive impact in the way you run your business and develop a lasting brand that is recognized for wanting more than just the transaction. You can then become known for actually caring for the needs of your customers and partners and that alone can make you stand out in the marketplace. Your audience will seek you above your competitors because they know you will add more value. Your buyers will be pleased and sales will increase because they see your enthusiasm in supporting their business when you are contributing ideas and plans for marketing and sales, and not just sending them the invoice and leaving it there. It goes both ways when you are intentional and seek to maintain healthy relationships in your business.
Examples of Intentional Business Actions
1.Examples of this can be when you’re posting on social media. Is it just a sales pitch hard sell or are you sharing some added value that will attract your target audience and keep them engaged?
- When you’re looking to secure a buyer are you listening to their individual needs for what they are looking for? Are you proactively and consistently looking for feedback from both your customers and partners? Are you applying the changes required?
- Do you know what your customers and partners need in order to become loyal to you vs a competitor and are you researching that, or inquiring before interacting with them?
- Are you relatable and easy to get a hold of? People want to know that you are someone that they can connect to, you can relate and are available to them. Be real and don’t pretend to be something or someone you aren’t, be yourself.
- If you are a part of a team, are you fostering a culture of building unity and strong professional relationships within team members?
These are questions that you should ask yourself and apply to your business model because it demonstrates intentionality beyond the sale. People want to know that you’re invested and actually care and are willing to go the extra mile to build solid and strong relationships. It’s a win-win mindset.
This is absolutely crucial in building authentic business relationships that you build trust and then maintain. Brands can have incredible products and services but if the trust isn’t there, you will not retain consistent sales and be sought out in your niche.
How you build trust is done in various ways. You first have to be transparent and reliable. I’ve often seen too many brands make promises and claims they cannot maintain or are flat out false and down the road it is exposed and it doesn’t go well.
Even if you are starting with a small brand, ensure that you will always be a brand that both your business partners and your customers can trust. Do not over promise and when you need to adjust things or challenges arise, do not hide them or lie about it, rather as an empowered entrepreneur decide to be honest and relate that you are working on improvements and will ensure that you are doing your best to elevate your business, service or products. The quality of your product and your word should be at par. Share the positive attributes and core values of your products and brand that you know your target audience would want to know and would resonate with. When you have positive feedback, testimonies and reviews share them to your team and to the public. Nothing is more powerful than REAL testimonies and reviews.
People interested in green beauty are more particular about this I find, and want to know that it’s an authentic brand that operates in integrity. When this happens it increases your influence exponentially.
Being intentional and building authentic relationships in your business is fulfilling and will set the tone for your brand identity to your audience, business partners and team members. Set yourself apart and never neglect the influence that authenticity in business relationships can have.