Too often, people assume that building a company is only about building products or developing a key service offering. But building relationships is just as important as building products, if not more. We tend to value products more because they are physical and tangible, whereas relationships are abstract. You can’t touch or feel a relationship, but you can touch a new product from Apple or Amazon. Successful businesses understand that while their products must be high quality, so must their relationships. Relationships must be established, cultivated, and developed among workers, vendors, and customers. Companies that invest a lot into their relationship building tend to have more success over the long term.
You Aren’t Just Selling A Product, You Are Selling An Emotional Investment In Your Business
Many people believe that companies are simply selling a product. That isn’t true. Companies are selling an emotional connection with their business as well. Think about smartphones. Most consumers feel a sense of attachment, not only to their smartphone itself, but also to the company that produces it. That level of emotional attachment is then used to create repeat customers who also buy other products.
Valuing Your Company Relationships Means Employees Will Be More Productive
Companies that don’t value relationships with their employees often cycle through employees without a second thought. But companies that truly value their employees provide them with more autonomy and resources, and over time, these employees become more productive and more valuable. It costs a significant amount of money to find and train new workers, and over longer periods of time, quick turnover businesses can be less profitable than those with longer tenured employees.
Building A Relationship With Vendors And Outside Organizations Is Important Too
It isn’t only about your customers and your employees. A good business will also build relationships with vendors. There might be a time when you need to get a vendor to deliver materials faster or in higher quantities than in the past, and you might need to change your orders without much notice. A vendor that you don’t have much of a relationship will be less inclined to help you out when you need it.
If you understand the importance of building relationships, then you can take your business a long way. A good business will take the time, effort, and resources to make sure its employees feel comfortable and at home, and that they have open lines of communication with their co-workers and management. Businesses must establish relationships with vendors that they can trust and rely on, especially with margins are thin or deadlines are close. And course, businesses must build relationships with customers who go from interested parties to repeat business. If you are starting a new small business, it is important to make sure that you don’t neglect relationship building.
Regina Fasold is a seasoned Executive Coach and Leadership Expert. Her extensive professional background and her 10+ years of experience as a Global Executive Coach have allowed her to assist over 300 senior executives in corporations throughout the United States and in over 25 countries around the world.
* We Are Closed image credit goes to: Tim Mossholder.