You’ve heard it a million times and a million different ways – people buy from people that they know, like, and trust, and the same goes for working with people in any capacity. People want to feel like they know you, even if they don’t. Whether you own a business, have a position within a company or organization, or are seeking one, the connections you make with people are essential.

Photo: Max Pixel

With the prevalence of social media, the concept of building relationships can often become lost, but it’s important to not lose the benefits of human connection. The reality is that we all work extremely hard for our money, and just like us, people don’t part with their money easily (or we’d hope so). They need a reason to do business with you, especially if what you’re offering is a want and not a need.

The legendary saying that “it’s not what you know but who you know” is absolutely true, especially when it comes to business. We would all like to think that if we offer a quality product or service or that if we bring certain skills and experience to the table that it speaks for itself but that’s not always the case.

Photo: Tim and Julie Harris

When its people know you, they are more likely to patronize you, they are more likely to refer you to their friends and family, and they are more likely to want to work with you. Building relationships make things easier, especially the follow-up. If you feel like you’ve built a relationship with someone it makes it a lot easier to follow up with them about business.

If there’s one thing I hate is feeling like I’m harassing people, so it makes it much easier to know you’ve already built a strong rapport. When it comes to follow-ups there are many options. You can always go the traditional route and make yourself available for any questions that a potential customer may have, or you can reach out with some incentives to drive the sale home. Ultimately, don’t think because you’re using social media that you don’t have to build relationships, because they are important on and offline.