“People don’t care how much you know until they know that you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Be interested in the person (people) with whom you speak. Each person or company that you touch has a depth of knowledge and experience that is valuable and valued. They have hopes and fears that need attention. They have gaps in understanding that need to be filled. They have much to share with you as well.
Be sincere in your approach and find the commonality that links you. Spend time to learn what you can about the person or company to find the links and important information that you can talk about. People inherently want to find a connection with others and talking about themselves, their successes and/or their company makes it easier for them to open up to conversation.
Do not shy from vulnerability. Humility and humanity exist hand in hand and show a genuine truth to your personality.
Be impactful. Create solutions to the needs that are expressed (explicitly and implicitly). Provide information that is a benefit. Focus on allaying fears and providing a sense of togetherness in building security and value in the relationship.
If you are looking for a short term or transactional relationship, then you can kick, bite and scratch your way to get the business. But be prepared to continue to fight each time, because only the strongest survive in such a battle strategy.
It is more worthwhile to spend the time to build the long term relationships that will be protected against the variances of market conditions and the immediate pressures of competition. However, you must continue to learn, build and share to keep the relationship strong and resilient.