Don’t Underestimate the Value of Relationships
by Julie Weishaar
January 5, 2022
Don't Underestimate the Value of Relationships

Good relationships at home and work are the foundation of collaboration and trust. They impact the quality of life, job performance, and overall satisfaction.

When we do not have good relationships, we become frustrated, lonely, and disinterested. As a result, our performance at work suffers, as does our mental health.

Building strong and positive relationships requires self-awareness, some skill, and the choice to work at it.

Relationships at Work

It takes time to build a relationship. Clearly, friendships that span decades are far different from ones with people you have only known for a few months.

Because many of us spend more time with our co-workers, team members, and management than we do with our families, there is plenty of time and the opportunity to build rapport and develop good business relationships.

Remember that there is a difference between personal and business relationships. Sharing some things about yourself in a work environment will take you beyond a superficial connection.

However, do not overshare or overwhelm the other person. There is a difference between business relationships and intimate friendships for a reason.

Building trusting relationships with those you work with and your customers requires awareness of your needs and an appreciation of others.

Relationships as Consumers

As consumers, we are continually bombarded by ads, emails, mailers, and phone calls about the latest and greatest.

And to top it all off, in the real world of cyber threats, the owners of Aura.com understand how crucial it is that we, as consumers do whatever we can to protect our identity.

They offer the security features you need to protect yourself, your family, all your devices, as well as your financial and personal information.

Counting All The Costs of Ransom

In 2020, ransomware attacks grew 7x or more — By 2025, at least 75% of IT organizations will face at least 1 ransomware attack.

Image source

How Can Consumers Decide What to Pay Attention to and What to Ignore?

Additionally, how can the small business owner expect his marketing message and value proposition to stand out amongst the masses?

The answer lies in using effective marketing techniques and differentiators to be as unique as possible.

The higher the competition of a particular industry, the more difficult this becomes.

One would be hard-pressed to find many industries that are not saturated these days unless it is an incredibly unique and highly targeted business

The Power of Relationships

In addition to using creative and innovative messaging, small business owners should keep in mind the value of the relationships they build.

The Internet and the use of social media have created a totally transparent society.

What one does and says is more often than not broadcast across the World Wide Web – especially if it is negative.

As the old adage states: “Bad news travels fast”. Reputation management has become an increasingly important area of concern for business owners – as it should be.

It is pretty much accepted by all that people like to do business with people they know.

Think about it. How often do you ask people you know to refer you to a doctor, hairdresser, painter, or landscaper?

And don’t you find that you would prefer to hire someone to perform a service you need because you either know that person or know someone else who knows that person?

So, at the end, who gets the business? The person you know – either directly or through someone else.

If you ask many self-employed folks how they found their first customers, you will find that most of them are from people they know.

Building and nurturing business relationships require continual maintenance and ongoing communication.

Why Build and Nurture Customer Relationships

We have already explained the importance of relationships in business and our personal lives.

When it comes to your company, its long-term success depends upon the rapport you establish with your customers over time.

Consumers today evaluate the relationship they have with various brands and expect companies to deliver stellar customer service and seamless buyer’s journey.

If your business does not meet their expectations, you will likely lose them.

However, if you consistently provide caring and personalized service to your customers, they will likely continue to buy from you and increase their lifetime value.

The three primary reasons you want to build relationships with your customers include:

  • Improving customer lifetime value (CLV) by keeping your current customers satisfied to make more and larger purchases in the future.
  • Retaining current client base and reducing churn rate.
  • Developing brand advocates who will share their positive experiences with your products, services, and support to others. This is known as word-of-mouth advertising.

The key to building positive and strong relationships with your customers is to keep them engaged with your brand.

How to Build Strong and Positive Customer Relationships

Below are several strategies to build strong customer relationships:

  • Show your customers that you understand their needs and what motivates them.
  • Send personalized and valuable email newsletters.
  • Encourage feedback on your website, social media, or email to hear directly from your customers what is working and what is not.
  • Go above and beyond in exceeding customer expectations by using positive language, displaying empathy, and engaging in active listening.
  • Always be open and honest with your customers to establish trust. For example, if there is a delivery delay, be sure to notify them and keep them in the loop.
  • Consistently and promptly connect with your customers’ requests, concerns, or issues.
  • Reward loyal customers to let them know they are appreciated with discounts, special offers, or early access to new products or services.

Even in a world where technology is advancing at a rate close to the speed of light, basic principles of human nature and business prevail. Reputation and relationships matter.

Updated from August 2010; republished 01/05/22 to add infographic

 

Don\'t Underestimate the Value of Relationships

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7 Comments

  1. Julie Weishaar

    Hello Nostalgic,

    Thanks for the comment. Yes I agree that people in business anywhere can benefit from traditional social networking.

    Reply
  2. Keith Davis

    Hi Julie
    Makes perfect sense to me – we do business with people we know.
    I'm amazed by the number of people I've got to kinow via blogging. There is a great community spirit and sense of friendship out there.
    It has really taken me by surprise.

    Reply
  3. Julie Weishaar

    Hi Keith. I know what you mean. The connections I have made have proven invaluable to me in my business. People who are willing to share ideas and opinions can only benefit in the long run by the connections they make. Connections lead to trust lead to referrals lead to increasing the bottom line.

    Thanks for stopping in 🙂

    Reply
  4. Paul Novak

    Very well said Julie. It is precisely "who you know", in so many ways! If you want to get a leg up on the competition online, who you know can make or break you. A good referral from a trusted or authoritive source can literally transform your business overnight. It is critically important that businesses realize this and respond accordingly. It means being selective in who you refer, standing behind every last facet of your reputation, and doing everything in an upfront and direct manner.
     
    Of course, I'm an exception and get by on my good looks and stellar charm alone;)

    Reply
    • Julie Weishaar

      Paul your modesty is overwhelming 🙂 I agree with you completely that getting a good referral from an authoritative source can be a real boost to your reputation. I wrote on one of Chris Brogan’s blog posts that I want to be him in my next life – but I never heard from him LOL. I wasn’t kidding! A referral from him would do wonders for my business! (oops – wake up Julie) One thing I can brag about (not like you can about good looks and stellar charm) is my being upfront and direct. Anyone who knows me knows that I say what I mean – no guessing games required. Of course there are times when my filters are a little under-active. You know – the “foot in mouth syndrome” 🙂

      Reply
  5. Sherryl Perry

    Well said Julie. I used to be a member of BNI (Business Networking International). It's a good organization and since it's built on referrals, credibility and reputation is everything. The mantra in our chapter was that everything you do is either a relationship builder or a relationship destroyer. Those words continue to echo in my head to this day.

    Reply
    • Julie Weishaar

      Thanks Sherryl for your comment. It is interesting that no matter how high tech our society becomes and no matter how reliant businesses are on the Internet and social media for promoting their brand, it all comes down to the basics of reputation and relationships. BNI is a great networking concept promoting doing business with members. Their mantra is a version of the Warren Buffet phrase “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it”.

      Reply

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