Building key business relationships is complex. I can say that as somebody that has spent the last 20 years helping entrepreneurs to build them. I was told last week that building relationships and hustle were synonymous – and I think it’s important to address the myth.
Relationships are made up of a combination of words and actions; non-verbal cues and involuntary responses. In most cases our brains see, process and respond far more quickly than we are consciously aware of – whether to respond to romantic approaches or to remove ourselves from situations that we feel uncomfortable in. Very few relationships are established and maintained by a prescribed set of words, actions and behaviours. The process is as complex and individual as the people involved in a relationship.
Many of the skills we use to build and maintain personal relationships are innate. They’re unlearned. Others are picked up from our life experiences and from the norms of the company we keep.
This applies to our business relationships as much as it does our personal ones. Hustle plays a role – whether it’s talking to the guy or girl you like the look of in a bar or at a party, or starting a conversation with a potential investor or prospect. But building a relationship based on trust and respect is a complex process that involves a combination of real-time interactions and a longer-term ‘dance’. It involves both verbal and non-verbal cues, behaviours… it has ups and downs… it requires subtlety… it requires influencing third-parties [on both sides] and, ultimately, must be mutually beneficial.
Hustle will only get you so far. Relationships aren’t something you can build overnight – unless there is an immediate mutual benefit. They are complex and specific to each individual situation but are well worth the investment.
Want to start building key business relationships? We can get you started in just 15 minutes.
— What is public relations?
Public relations is a process of strategically building mutually beneficial relationships with the people that matter most to the growth of a small or early-stage business.