Once upon a time, business involved the exchange of goods and services through face-to-face contact. As the world modernized, so did business practices by adopting certain tools, which, in turn, provided incredible progress. With technology expanding exponentially throughout history, so did people’s expectations become higher. Consequently, their standards increased: nowadays, what may be considered an almost personal relationship with someone is nothing more than exchanging messages through email or social media.
So what does this means for us? It requires that we work harder to build meaningful relationships while maintaining contact with our partners daily. Still, most importantly, it makes us acknowledge virtual relationships as crucial assets which need nurturing, just like physical ones.
Step by Step: How to Build Rapport
A valuable tip is to keep in touch with your network members regularly and don’t forget about the “personal” part of it. The benefits of staying in contact are numerous:
Keeping up to date with new projects.
Knowing who’s trustworthy and reliable.
Finding out about opportunities before they are made public as well as initiating future collaborations.
Just like face-to-face relationships, creating connections requires reflection of one’s own interests, what one brings to the table, and how that applies to other people’s business or personal needs; this means developing an understanding of each other (in a cultural sense). In this case, both parties have experience dealing with virtual connections, which may turn into something more valuable over time.
Make Use of Social Media
The worldwide web has become a virtual marketplace. Practically any service and product can be found online, whether to sell or buy. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide a good platform for finding new people with whom you share common interests, from friends of friends to completely random connections who are nonetheless right for your business interests. Since these social media sites are public, it is easy to seek out like-minded people based on their profiles.
Invest in Others to Get Ahead
Someone who has built a strong rapport with you may also be interested in meeting others, forming alliances, and having fruitful business relationships. Therefore, once you consider a person trustworthy and reliable, allow them to build their own network while being open about your own contacts, which may benefit both sides; by doing so, you also become a valuable asset for them. Staying more than just an acquaintance is not only rewarding, but it again requires time investment on your part to meet up from time to time.