Stop Sabotaging Your Business Relationships

Stop Sabotaging Your Business Relationships

(Image: File)
(Image: Thinkstock)

3. Not having a strategy. How do you want to make an impact? “Let’s start by stating the obvious – make sure that I can reach you,” says Pender.  State the obvious across all platforms – social media, website, voicemail, and business cards. Decide who falls into your net worth and then network in that social arena. Your strategy should be deliberate. Turn off all chats, check out your platform, support, and then serve.”

4. Not being authentic. Stop jumping on the buzz bandwagon looking for justification. “Speak from your heart. Be authentic,” says Pender. “People you connect to when you are genuine are the ones you’ll want to stay in touch with,” she adds. Strive for authentic connections. Don’t be someone you are not in order to gain acceptance. Relationships formed based on who we think others want us to be rather than who we are, turn out to be counteractive.

5. Not being positive. Are you a glass half-empty or a glass half-full type of person? While you want to be realistic in your expectations, you also want to be an optimistic person. Experiencing negative people and negative situations leaves an impression that is both mentally and physically damaging, not to mention spiritually draining.

6. Not responding in a timely fashion. Not answering your phone, not being on time, and not replying to your e-mails is a relationship killer. Yes, you are busy, but it sends out the message that you don’t care, says Pender. Take time to respond to e-mails, even if it is a quick message saying that you are overwhelmed and will follow up at a later time, she explains. Doing simple, respectful things will go a long way.

7. Not keeping your promises. Your credibility depends on your ability to keep your word, says Whitmore. One of the fastest ways to ruin a business relationship is to over-promise or over-commit to something and then under-deliver or not deliver at all. Make sure you have a system in place to help you accurately estimate how much time, money, and effort something is going to take before you promise it. “Forewarn a client of a potential roadblock and he will be much more likely to be forgiving,” says Whitmore. “Also, it is better to under-promise and over-deliver,” she adds.

8. Not being flexible. The key to negotiation is allowing for common ground and being able to compromise. Disagreements and personality conflicts are a part of doing business. “Strive to handle conflict gracefully,” Whitmore advises. Everyone makes mistakes, so acknowledge yours. “Generally, clients will be flexible if you quickly acknowledge the error, apologize, and work to rectify the situation,” she adds. “Don’t make excuses or blame others. Instead take responsibility, find the solution, and start moving forward again.”

9. Not adding a personal touch. Business relationships should not always be about business. Remembering important events in your clients’ lives, sending a card in the mail, or a simple e-mail message can go a long way in building memorable relationships. “Acknowledge birthdays and anniversaries, children’s activities, and accomplishments (i.e., graduations). This shows that you are paying attention and that you care enough to remember,” Pender explains.

1o. Not networking masterfully. This has its place on the URL and IRL (in real life). “Step out of your social media platform comfort zone and attend meetings, events, conferences. ‘As seen on Facebook’ is not the tag you are looking for.” Also, be willing to share your contacts and resources and others will be more likely to help you as well.