1. What is the importance you place on building good business relationships for your company’s business? Why?
Relationships are built on trust. In any business, people buy from people. People conduct business with people. Organisations come later. Thus, it is very crucial to build good business relationships to further your company’s business.
2. What according to you helps a company build a great business relationship?
The 3 successful ingredients of building a great business relationship are:-
- Having a transparent approach
- Understanding the customer’s problems
- Helping the customer win
3. Are the ways used to build great business relationships different in different geographies?
The approach has to be different in different geographies. Each of the geographies has a very different culture. Thus, it is highly critical that one must understand the social and cultural aspects of the geography while approaching someone from that geography.
4. Business relationships are increasingly being built online. Is Vignani as a company using any of the social media tools to build business relationships?
According to me relationships can’t be built online. Only introductions can be made/gained through online media. Social media tools shorten the time period required to connect with people, but they do not guarantee a relationship. Relationships are still built through a person to person contact, face to face. Building good relationships take a long time and do not happen overnight.
5. How important has building business relationships been in your own professional life? Can you share an example of how it has made a difference?
Over the last two decades, I have developed a few significant business relationships based on transparency, trust and promise of delivery. These have helped solve customer problems. Some of these business relationships have resulted in good friendships. Even though some people changed organisations, we have ended up working together because of the relationship we had developed. An instance that readily comes to mind is that of a CIO of a large banking organisation. He had so much confidence in me that when he moved to another banking organisation, he invited me to do business with him.
6. Please share a few ideas that our readers could put into practice which would help them improve their business relationship building skills.
The first thing that one should keep in mind while developing a business relationship is that he should not try and sell to the customer.
One should understand the pain points of the customer, organisation and of the industry as a whole. If you are unable to solve the customer’s problems, then don’t approach him. Successful business relationships are built when you have been able to solve the pain points / problems of the customer. Else you would have made a sale, but no relationship would have been built.
One should understand the customer’s business thoroughly. The customer should clearly understand what you are offering him / her. If this is achieved, the customer will look to you for help.
Assess how you can make your customer win and look good – in business, among peers and in front of his boss.
Make a little extra effort to keep in touch constantly / periodically even though there maybe no immediate business opportunity.