It is easy to treat the business world as a purely strategy-based game, which requires you to create innovative plans, implement them using the most cost-effective measures, and to position a powerful brand in the marketplace.

However, this is to forget that successful businesses (and business people) are built upon strong relationships with individuals – whether within your organization or externally.

Without these strong relationships, you cannot convince anyone to work for you for a meaningful amount of time, invest in your company, buy your products or help you out if you find yourself in dire financial straits.

Although this sounds like an obvious point to make, many business leaders ignore the importance of building strong relationships with those around them. To them, business is about being as hard-nosed as possible, smashing through glass ceilings on their way to the top of their industry.

This approach has often been romanticized by movies and certain business owners, but it is ultimately a false economy. Creating unnecessary enemies and failing to develop healthy relationships with others will only hold you back in the long term.

Here is how to build stronger business relationships:

Organize a business trip

One of the most proven ways of building stronger business relationships is to meet with people face to face. It may have become far easier to conduct meetings over video calls, but it is far harder to develop a meaningful relationship when the connection is stuttering and the quality is poor.

Instead, organize a business trip to meet the other person in their hometown. It will help demonstrate your commitment to making the relationship a success and make your first meeting memorable.

Of course, if this trip requires you to go overseas, it can be tricky to plan for. If you are struggling to organize a business trip effectively, consider using a corporate travel service, which will handle the logistics for you.

Focus on the other person’s problems

The number one reason why many people struggle to build meaningful business relationships is that they focus too much on what they want from it rather than what the other person might want.

Everyone is motivated by self-interest, so if you are not willing to at least consider the other person’s point of view, then the relationship will likely end in a stalemate of selfishness.

To build trust and make the relationship more enticing, give the other person clear reasons to invest their time and energy in you and your business.

If it is an investor, demonstrate your ability to generate the money. If it is an employee, make sure they have everything they need to do their job to the best of their abilities.

Keep working on the relationship

Any relationship – whether personal or professional – needs constant care and attention if it is to flourish.

Therefore, don’t neglect your business relationships by presuming that, once they are established, they will last forever. Regularly reach out to those you want to sustain a corporate relationship with. See if you can do them any favors or help them with their own problems. It will ensure the dynamic evolves and that you stay at the forefront of their minds.

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