In the end as in the beginning it’s all about building those relationships strong. Start with yourself and your loved ones and then get down to business.
Is it too much to ask to love your team members, co-workers, customers clients and even your competitors? If it weren’t for all these fantastic people would you have anything to do during the day? Would you have a growing thriving business? Would you be making plans to expand your company? If love is a stretch then you should at least strive to like them a whole lot…
I find that I end up doing most of my business with people I really like and as far as I’m concerned the feeling is mutual. It’s good to respect people for their accomplishments but if they’re not very nice to deal with and not down to earth then there’s not much else keeping the business strong. And when things start to breakdown or the contract’s up for renewal and there’s not much relational glue holding the parties together then it’s too easy for your competitor to sneak in there and offer a better price or higher value service and take your business. When people don’t feel they’re being valued then it’s easier to start looking around for a new group or another opportunity.
The best way to keep your business relationships strong and growing year after year is the same old fashioned formula that holds friends and family together. You get out what you put in. In a more Businesslike context, the formula is…
Time invested early and consistently = Long Term Business and (potential warning signs)*
With Team Members: Grabbing a lunch or having an after work drink is always welcome and pays massive dividends. If you’re the Leader then its great to plan regular mentoring or coaching sessions.
For senior staff it’s imperative to discuss differences of opinion or possible mis-understandings. Plan an inner team activity that takes everyone a bit out of their comfort zone. There’s loads of fun, safe and low impact outdoor activities you can do. If you live in Vancouver you can call on my good buddy Jono at Pinnacle Pursuits and he’ll help you plan an unforgettable great day out with your troops.
With Business Associates/Clients: Invest time in the relationship with an impromptu visit, a regular weekly or monthly phone call, a personal Email with helpful information or new connection invitation or business referral. Just show them that you’re thinking of them when they least expect it. Everyone loves to “feel like” they’re top of mind with their business associates.
There’s no magic formula to keep business relationships strong and progressively growing over time just like there’s no magic formula to keep a family happy and together. But with a huge dose of empathy, common sense and thought you can overcome most digressions, and grow both businesses and personal relationships strong enough to stand the test of time.
*The warning signs are simple. If you have a good relationship then your trusted client will tell you when the competitors come calling and if they’re thinking about leaving. They will give you the time and consideration to make a counter offer and possibly a chance to increase the value of your offering. It’s so much easier to do business with current clients than it is to continually build new business accounts.
Dominic writes, speaks, inspires, motivates and teaches on the most important aspects of your business including Sales, Coaching, Team building, People Management and Business Development. Get weekly access to his blog & training videos FREE by subscribing HERE