Business is All About Relationship

I live in a small metropolitan area with only about 110,000 people. And it seems even smaller than that.

I’ve been doing business in this community for over 20 years. I’ve worked in non-profits, sales, publishing, printing, construction and now Internet publishing.

Very little of my business is now local. But I often run into people from previous business relationships. Like me, many of these people are in different businesses—some in different careers altogether.

It struck me how much my present business relationships have to do with my previous ones. I’ve found it easy to recreate rapport and establish trust with folks I’ve had good dealings with before. When I know someone and have confidence in their word, doing business with them becomes easier.

I strive to have an excellent relationship with everyone. It doesn’t seem possible all the time, but it’s worth striving for nonetheless.

Marketing gurus recommend that we should be mindful of the lifetime value of a customer—to look not only at the profit from an initial sale. It’s good advice. And I would take it a step further: Be mindful of the lifetime value of a RELATIONSHIP—not just a customer.

One of the key concepts we talked about at a recent World Class Business Conference was the importance of relationships in business. I went so far as to say that business is really a network of communication against a background of relationships.

And it’s not just relationships with customers—it’s with suppliers, coworkers, stakeholders—even competitors.

As some of my recent encounters have pointed out, some relationships are completely reversed from what they used to be. Customers can now be employers. Competitors can now be customers. Coworkers may now be bosses.

Today, with the Internet, our business world becomes even smaller. We do business with people around the world, but it’s really still a fairly small community. As I talk with other entrepreneurs online, we seem to know many of the same people.

In a few years, we may each be doing something a bit different. And the relationships we have and build today will serve us in the future in direct proportion to the quality and integrity we create.

It’s important that we cultivate and nurture our relationships. Being honest, playing win-win and treating people fairly isn’t just a moral thing to do—it’s good business—now, and in the future.

Action Point
Do you focus on the deal or do you create relationships? Every business transaction is a PERSONAL transaction, so make every effort to enhance your relationship with this person. Nurture your relationships through honest, fair and friendly exchanges.

Author's Bio: 

Michael Angier is founder and CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of SuccessNet--a support network helping people and businesses grow and prosper since 1995. Get their free Resource Book ($27 value) of products, services and tools for running your business more effectively. And most of the over 150 resources are FREE to access and use.