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Developing positive business relationships

Many entrepreneurs attend networking events to distribute and receive business cards, yet they don't do the requisite follow-through to develop potential partnerships, alliances or connections.

To build fantastic business relationships, try these suggestions:

Meet face to face - We live in an age of electronic communications, transmitting messages by cellphone, e-mail or fax. While you may be able to reach a larger number of people by using technology, true relationships require a little face time. Make the effort to go and see a business person with whom you suspect great things can happen.

Be honest - It's tough to open up to someone new, but trust won't be established between you and a new business connection unless you're honest with them. Don't cover up your flaws or oversell your business capabilities.

Have integrity - Quick-buck artists come and go, but you're in business forever. Integrity often means doing the right thing no matter what the circumstances. Develop your new business relationship by simply doing what you say you're going to do.

Communicate often - Relationships need nurturing, so pick up the phone and call that business contact just to chat. So many entrepreneurs only make contact when they want something. Build rapport by simply staying in touch without a hidden agenda.

Entrepreneurship expert Roger Pierce trains people to start a small business in the Up & Running Biz Launch Program.

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