The Importance Of Being Connected In Business
This is an article ‘The Importance Of Being Connected In Business’ by Marc Primo
There are many types of essential connections when you are in business. No matter what market niche you are focused on, determining which partners, suppliers, and customers you need to break bread with can directly affect how much profit you can gain. In today's world, wherein it's easier for more people to engage, nurturing your connections can spell the difference between success and failure in business.
Some entrepreneurs misconstrue the difference between networking and building connections. Networking merely means interacting with associates for information and building a directory. Growing connections can deepen your understanding of people's problems and issues as you establish a long-term relationship. In other words, networking is more of an activity than how connecting with people is learning about them on a more personal level. In the end, building connections should always be the primary objective when you perform networking activities.
Here are some of the top reasons why building connections are so meaningful in business:
Great connections lead to new opportunities
Most business leaders forge partnerships and collaborations to impact their companies' bottom line positively. Aside from meeting with new prospects or customers, building connections can also lead you towards new ventures you can explore down the line.
Of course, establishing a good connection with stakeholders is easier to accomplish if the members of your top management are involved. People want an insider to tell them what they are getting into, giving them the impression that they are essential to your business.
Try to practice listening with the genuine intent of addressing your audience's concerns while not holding back on specific questions that need answering. An excellent way to let them know that you are listening to them is to repeat their questions before you answer them or by encouraging them to expound on their concerns.
Avoid backchanneling or the practice of limiting responses. Instead, ask follow-up questions when you are in a dialogue with stakeholders to get the conversation going until new and mutual opportunities emerge on the table.
You can learn new best practices
Connecting with the top heads of other companies also gives you a good opportunity to learn a few best practices you can apply to your business operations. Even if you are talking with CEOs of a different market niche, there are always takeaways in every top-level conversation.
Don't be afraid to ask for tips or case studies that let you in on others' success. There's always room to learn how you can run your company more efficiently or in your decision-making process. That rings true, especially today when 70% of customer engagements are expected to be driven by digital technologies and intelligent systems that may sound Greek to you at the moment.
Another good tip for connecting with people is trying to find a mentor who can enrich your business acumen with their own experiences. Bridging the things you can learn from both old and new will help you initiate brainstorming sessions with your people for helpful insights.
You can forge long-term partnerships
As most businesses prove, mergers, capital investments, and collaborations usually stem from building connections for new projects or campaigns. This stage is where your networking skills will matter, as it can lead you to specific people who can help you run your business while looking to forge win-win deals.
You'll need to ask yourself a few questions, such as who can provide you access to a data or supply source or who can present you alternatives on how to go about your partnerships. Knowing the right people, getting what you want, and providing what they need from you can lead to long-term partnerships that mutually benefit both companies.
A few ways to earn trust is to set humility markers when appropriate. Putting the person you are talking to at ease promotes more positive and transparent energy that triggers our innate human nature to help. Likewise, when others need your expert advice on something, freely giving them a slice of your knowledge helps move conversations forward.
It improves your customer relationships
Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, more online customers have been willing to engage and connect with brands they believe in and trust. Authenticity is the key to unlocking more conversion potential if you want to build a connection with consumers.
For example, 90% of Generation Z consumers engage more with brands that push for environmental and social best practices. This fact only proves that most of today's customers value their purchasing power and desire to create a difference in the world. This trend has been a growing consumer sentiment even before the health crisis. Companies can better build engagement and connections if they address the same pain points vis-a-vis how they operate their businesses.
You can also bring out your company's authenticity by speaking up about your core values in business or letting your brand and product speak about the things you stand for. Today's consumers are very keen on a company's purpose on the most pressing social issues and can see through the transparent glass.
If establishing connections with business partners and collaborators anchors more on words, customer connection is achievable when your actions speak louder. Make your socially-motivated decisions public, reach out through charity programs, and show your target market how you plan to grow your business in a more sustainable, humane, and socially responsible manner. Remember that once you inspire consumers, they will be ready to unite and defend your business as long as you keep everything real.
Building productive connections, whether for your business partners or customers, is easy if you earn trust and confidence among your stakeholders. Market your initiatives and partnerships to the right audiences, as not everyone will appreciate it if you sound the PR alarm on every good thing you do. Let the word of your good deeds get out on its own and push your core values to the forefront. People want sincerity, and you must diligently prepare for how you want to connect with various groups and how you want them to perceive who you are as a brand.