It’s true. I have the gift for gab. But come on, that tends to be a trait of many women. And I feel that I can take liberty calling out this stereotype, because I am a woman.
People often think that because I am gregarious that I find it easy to build strong relationships with business partners. In fact, that is not true. This trait may help to start conversations, but it is not the basis for building strong relationships. Actually the opposite skill set, listening, is one of the main keys to building strong relationships in both your personal and business life.
The only way to have true authentic relationships is to understand your business partner’s perspective and you can only start to understand their point of view, if stop your “pitch” and ask discovery questions. You will only get true business insights if you engage in this manner. And personally, I do not just ask my business partners “business” questions, I ask them about themselves: their background, family, friends, what makes them happy, what makes them sad, their hopes and their dreams. People love to talk about themselves and you get to have a much more holistic understanding of the person you are working with, if you know about them on both a professional and personal level.
One of the main differentiators Universal Orlando sales staff pride themselves on is having authentic relationships with their business partners. We stride to really get to know our business partners on a variety of levels, because people like to do business with people that they genuinely like as a person.
The other fundamental ways to woo your business partners is by being readily accessible and responsive. My business partners have my personal cell phone number and know that they can reach-out to me any day, any time and that they can count on my replying quickly. They know that if they email me, that they will get a reply in 24 hours or less and it is almost always within a small window of time.
In addition, I make sure to keep in touch with my clients by phone and in person. Yes, texts and emails are main stays of communication, but it is also important to connect verbally. You cannot always properly read the “tone” of an email or text and I never let what I will refer to as “sensitive” subjects be addressed in emails. I definitely encourage business people to pick-up the phone, more often!
All in all, if you want to “woo” your business partners be engaged with them on a real and multiple levels. It is actually that simple. No secret sauce, needed.