Employ Perceptiveness, Savvy and Charisma to Thrive in Your Business Relationships

Building great business relationships requires both a high emotional intelligence quotient and performance-based skills that allow you to engage effectively with others and cultivate trust. As a business relationship develops, so do comfort levels.

It’s important to check in and evaluate your performance. How are you positively impacting the other person? How are you showing up? What type of effort are you putting in? Do you feel as though there’s equal reciprocity? Is progress being made to achieve your next-level goals? Asking these types of questions will help maintain humility, ensure reciprocity, and reinforce your desires to always be genuine and sincere.

Throughout the course of building relationships, you may encounter challenges from the other person because, frankly, some people just don’t get it. In these instances, you must maintain composure and humility, and remain consistent in your approach. You may feel like you’re giving and giving and giving without receiving, and sometimes that will be the case. Be patient! Some people will take more time than others.

Being in service to others is a mindset. When you’re consistently trying to help others improve, you eliminate the self-serving mindset, and reciprocity becomes commonplace. Trying to speed things up to benefit your goal achievement may cause an immediate implosion. It can lead to self-inflicted wounds that can set you back or completely tank the relationship. Remember the long play that goal achievement can sometimes be. You must continue to be accessible, humble, and giving of yourself.

Building relationships is a daily proactive pursuit for those who want to increase their performance and make an impact on their future success trajectory. Remaining passive in this discipline not only hinders your performance but limits your subsequent growth potential.

As you focus on building genuine business relationships, use these tips to enhance your relationship-building skills.

Apply perceptiveness – Being perceptive means opening your eyes and paying attention to all of the tiny nuances of data you pick up from the people you engage with. I’m not talking about body language alone. You must look for what I call their beacons of pride. These are items cherished by other people, worn or placed so that people will see them. It’s important to look for these when you walk into another person’s environment because the keys to building a great relationship may be right in front of you. When you see things such as wedding rings, clothing brands, pictures of family, sports team memorabilia, or vacation pictures, they allow for you to operate in commonalities or like-minded interests.

Show some savvy – Once you pick up on the data from the environment, it’s important to be savvy in your approach. Knowing what to say, how to say it, and to whom you are saying it are all components of being savvy. Developing it comes with practice, and many times less is more. A perceptive acknowledgment or a short, direct compliment about what you see in their environment can spark a deeper conversation. It can also initiate self-disclosure from someone without having to tangentially speak about anything and everything. Be selective in choosing relationship-building entry points. This is how to gain information and develop trust.

Convey charisma – After picking up data by being perceptive and gaining insight with conversational savvy, it’s time to sprinkle in some charisma in order to inspire fidelity and increase the bond. For many, it can be hard to be charming, but you need to be charming. Subtle compliments such as “Just from speaking with you briefly, I bet you’re really good at ___” provide the receiver with your acknowledgment of something they probably take pride in. This will open up more dialogue and show your interest in learning from them. It will elevate their feelings of self-worth. If you make people feel good about themselves, they’ll want to be around.

With practice, you can intentionally find the right mix of perceptiveness, savvy, and charisma that helps you gain a better understanding of and bond with others. This will make them more comfortable around you and help them to recognize the value your relationship offers.


  • Aaron Salko

    Aaron Salko, founder of The 9th Stratum, is a sales management professional with the innovative solutions-based company Stephen Gould. His new book, “The 9th Stratum: Your Guide to High Performance,” provides a strategic progression for developing the skills critical to optimizing your performance. Learn more at stratum-nine.com.

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