In day-to-day life, and in business, relationships are the core and common factor that keep people connected and engaged, and build community. Communities are groups of people who align because they share something in common. As a business owner, having a community that you are part of that is full of people who want to be connected and engaged with you is critical to survival and winning new business. But how to build a community around you?
First, you have to meet people and make the right impression!
People will decide quickly if they like you based on their first impression of you, so it’s good to remember this and be mindful of leaving a positive impression, as doing so will give you more chance of further conversations and building a relationship.
For business owners, this principle applies to the extent that how you come across could make or break your business! So it’s important to think about how you’re showing up and finding favour with others as you build relationships, both in terms of first impressions and on an ongoing basis.
Barbara Corcoran, a successful US businesswoman, is the founder of The Corcoran Group, a real estate brokerage in New York City, which she sold to NRT for $66 million in 2001 and is one of the original sharks in Shark Tank, the US version of Dragon's Den. She explains how important it is to be liked in business:
“People want to do business with someone they like. If people like you, they’re going to want to do business with you. And if they don’t you’re going to have an almost insurmountable obstacle to overcome.”
Above all else, people remember how they are made to feel and will use their memories to guide how or if they will engage with you, based on their previous experiences of you.
People are much more likely to support you if they like you, in terms of making a purchase from your business, because they align with you and desire to be a customer of yours specifically ahead of others. If they like you, they are also more likely to trust you, and trust is essential in business, if you’re going to make sales!
Other business owners and organisations are also more likely to want to collaborate with you if they like you. Collaboration is an essential part of business success, as is building trust with those who will go on to help you with introductions/referrals and other support. Many other businesses will determine whether you are a customer they’d like to help based on what you’re like to deal with too. If you want to work with decent suppliers who treat their customers (you) well, you need to be someone they trust to treat them well in return. Your suppliers are key to your competitive advantage and success in business.
At Inspire, we encourage female business owners to treat others how they would want to be treated themselves, to practice kindness first above all else, and to build relationships by being nice people, for this very reason: we want them to succeed!
If you don’t make an effort to show up in a positive way for others, your relationship with them will not blossom and you will not see any of the advantages outlined above.
Here are some top tips for how to make a great first impression and win more business by focusing on building relationships:
At Inspire we run weekly meetings to help female business owners to connect and build relationships with one another. Part of our focus is on helping individuals to learn how to show up authentically as a business owner among other business owners within a safe space so that they can learn how to effectively develop relationships, where feedback is encouraged, and where they can grow their skills without fear of judgment. For more experienced business owners who are a part of our membership, it’s a great opportunity to share wisdom with start-ups while also building genuine relationships with other female business owners. We also have a separate higher tier membership for those who want to connect with those with more experience, just like them.
If you would like our help, it’s super simple to get involved and doesn’t need to take up much of your time to bring huge benefits. Access our online 24/7 community, attend our meetings, and you’ll find the most lovely and supportive group of women who want to help you and your business to grow. Find out more here about how you can join us: www.theinspirenetwork.co.uk.