3 Things You Can Do to Make Your Business Relationships Stronger

By: Erin Newkirk, of Red Stamp Photo by: Brooke Dennis

Relationships are the #1 competitive advantage in any business. Being an in the know and the go-to gal or guy sends countless opportunities your way. The great news is that making critical relationships stronger is hardly an arduous task. It’s all about modern etiquette + having the right tools in your tool belt.

Here are some strategies + tactics we’ve employed at Red Stamp over the years with much success.

1. Gratitude

There are many ways to say thank you. As the founder of a correspondence company, I always think a personal, well-thought-out + timely thank you after any business meeting is a best practice. But here are some other ways I like to express gratitude.

· Buying someone a cup of coffee {even virtually ala my Starbucks app!}

· Texting them a quick note after following up on one of their action steps or recommendations letting them know how it went {see Keep in touch below}

· Personal connection – handshakes, eye contact {in person} // commenting on a photo they post of their family {virtually} – that sort of thing

· Posting a recommendation on LinkedIn {or endorsing – takes 2 seconds}

· Sending a kind, praise-filled introduction to someone who might be of help to them

2. Give as much as you get

Who doesn’t have a friend who only reaches out when she needs something? I’ll tell you, when that number pops up on the phone, I sometimes have to force myself not to send to voicemail.

Contrast that with the people in your life who ping you just to say hi, see how you are doing, show you they are thinking about you, send along something they think you might be interested in, and just want to share the good in their life and say “thank you” for helping you make that happen. You’re always ready + willing for those calls/emails/texts, right?

Business is no different. Whenever I enter a conversation where I’m going to have an ask, I always make sure I have something juicy to give. And even when I don’t have an ask, I make sure to send opportunities at least once every 6 months. But be warned – help/well wishes/etc. must be authentic in order to be appreciated.

3. Keep in touch

I have the pleasure of advising some amazing entrepreneurs and to each of them, I give the same advice. Make sure you invest the time to keep in touch over time so that you stay on radar screens. It can be a 5 second investment thanks to social media, “like” buttons,  “congrats” buttons, digital cards. Or it can be a 5 minute / few dollar investment with an email, paper card, digital gift {remember that cup of coffee I was talking about?} Both are valid + best when mixed.

What are you doing to make your business relationships stronger? What are some challenges you face? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

This post was written and sponsored by Red Stamp. Learn how to build meaningful connections at Red Stamp's free Alt Channel class on 4/30, hurry and sign up here, spots are filling up fast.

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Eden Hensley

Marketing creative, community engagement specialist, technophile, photographer, food and wine enthusiast, and the founder and editor-in-chief of The Road to The Good Life, a lifestyle blog about appreciating and enhancing your life by being grateful for the "haves" instead of lingering on the "wants." There you will find personal stories about my life and family weaved in with real-life, achievable entertaining tips, recipes for hearty home cooked meals, and DIY projects for capturing and sharing memories. I believe the best place to swap stories is over a shared meal, preferably a Thai-meal served family style, and teach an online introduction class to Thai Flavors and host the Family Dinners at The Station supper club in San Francisco.