Nothing can bring more satisfaction to a business owner than knowing they have a healthy relationship with their customer and vendors.
And, of course, as many people find out, nothing can bring so much pain as a broken relationship.
Yes, relationships make the world go ‘round. For better or for worse. There are basics that govern most human relationships, and these basics are what I want to cover below. So here is my list of the three essentials that I believe make up the basics of healthy business relationships.
1. Honesty. Honesty is the backbone of a great business relationship. If you do not trust your customers how can you expect them to trust you? I recently had an experience where the vendor really messed up and instead of telling me the truth and letting me decide how to respond, he kept the issues from me. Things got progressive worst until we split on less than friendly terms. I would have preferred to salvage the relationship if possible.
Communication is so important because it is the vehicle that allows us to verbalize what is inside us and enables it to connect with another person. Isn’t communication amazing? One person is feeling one thing, and through communication, another person can find that out and feel it, too—amazing. And this is a vital goal in good relationships—to communicate, to tell each other what we are thinking and what we are feeling. It enables us to make a connection. Sometimes we are the one speaking, and other times we are listening. Either way, the central tenet is communication for the sake of building the relationship and making it stronger. And here’s what’s exciting: If we just communicate, we can get by. But if we communicate skillfully, we can work miracles!
It helps if we can communication our message in a way our customers understand. There are six questions our prospects wants answered before they buy from us. Go to the Business Growth Experience web site and download this report. This report documents the basic communications our prospects and customers want from us.
2. Integrity. Do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it. Nothing is more frustrating than making a plan based on the action of someone else and then at the last-minute finding out they did not do it. Be respectful of your customers and business partners and expect the same in return. People make decisions on what you say and do; sometimes very important decisions. We need to respect that.
I once had a vendor who never returned calls. I could not make any plans and any decisions that were made always changed because of his lack of follow through. Needless to say that relationship did not last long. If he had only responded and followed through things would have been great.
3. Common Sense. Every relationship must have a win-win component. If either person in the relationship feels taken advantage of, feelings are hurt and rash decisions are made. Jim Rohn calls this common purpose. Think about how many friends you have met through the years while working on a common purpose. With common purpose there is something in it for everyone. You had that strong common bond of purpose that brought you together and held you together. Working together, building together, failing and succeeding together—all while pursuing a common purpose—that is what relationships are made of. Find people with whom you have common purposes and sow the seeds of great relationships, and then reap the long-lasting benefits.