We live in a technology driven world. At the same time, it seems that the more we try to digitize and automate things, the more apparent it becomes: All business is personal.

Like any relationship, a business relationship needs ongoing care and attention in order to thrive. Yet very few people make concerted efforts to cultivate their connections. The reasons are as varied as people themselves, but one thing holds true: Exceed expectations and people will remember you forever.

20 Ways to Exceed Expectations

Everything begins with a positive attitude, or a “connector’s mindset.” In my experience, the people that consistently exceed expectations share a set of common beliefs, including:

1. You only have one to chance to make a strong first impression.
2. Every person wants to be treated as an individual.
3. Every point of contact is a chance to exceed expectations.
4. Making a connection is more important than making a sale.
5. People are more alike than they different.
6. Everyone wants to feel like they are making a difference.
7. A friendly smile and good energy help establish confidence and trust.
8. Positivity and a touch of humor go a long way toward minimizing differences.
9. A team working together can accomplish more than any one person can alone.
10. It is more important to listen than to talk.
11. Everyone’s time is valuable.
12. Everyone’s opinion matters.
13. Honesty is always the best policy.
14. A promise made is a promise kept.
15. Technology should support, not replace, real-world relationships.
16. Mistakes happen; it’s how you handle them that matters.
17. Accomplishments should be acknowledged and celebrated.
18. Showing up and following through will set you up for success.
19. Always end a conversation (face-to-face or virtual) on a positive note.
20. What people remember most is how you make them feel.

What would YOU add to this list? How do you exceed people’s expectations to build stronger connections?