If you're in the creative industry the success of your business is built on a strong foundation of vendor relationships. In our business vendors aka friend-ers are critical because of the support, exposure and opportunities they provide. When you new it's hard to create and develop relationships. Here are few tips to bolster your creative contingencies.
1. Embrace Curiosity
Humility is your strongest suit when it comes to building relationshiops. Every person has something to give and information you can learn. You will gain much by focusing on others rather than yourself and being simply being curious. It's an easy way to build connections quickly and discover more than you imagined.
2. Offer Incentives
Performance-based incentives is a great way to strenghten partnerhships among vendors. Create a clear, easy, friendly and generous incentive plan and reach out to share it! Incentives are a great way to develop mutually beneficial relationship where you both are rewarded for helping each other.
3. Share Information Freely
By asking lots of questions you will be able to discover interests, problems and motivations of those around you. Take it further and offer help when you can and think of way of connecting to your creative business-friend network -- you'll become known as a helpful and kind individual, and people remember that.
4. Express Genuine Concern
Trust is critical in the creation of any connection and when you express honest concern you establish trust quickly. This may mean engaging in small talk and small acts of kindness. You need to communicate with vendors openly, regularly and clearly in a way that encourages their engagement. Look for common interest and offer information that's peronsal but not overly revealing.
Even when you think you know the answer, ask questions to dig deeper into underlying motivations, perssonalities and problems. Once you understand motivations, it gives you the unique power to steer the conversation and relationship more easily. Feel free to ask questions that help you learn more about how your business benefits their's or how you can collaborate on future project. It's okay to say, "what can I do for you?"
As a member of the creative industry, we have an advantage when it comes to creating one-of-a-kind plans for our businesses that will keep our vendors happily motivated and engaged. If you need help creating a compelling and honest ways of strenthening these relationships, message me to discuss it. My largest passion is helping small businesses, especially creative ones, increase profitabality, develop growth and reach thier goals.
Photos by Nicole Cleary Photography, Mayesh Houston, Texas