Business relationships are still relationships, no matter which way you look at them. In order to be successful in business you’ll need to foster strong relationships with clients, vendors, buyers, staff, or distributors. It’s not surprising, then, that business relationships require much consideration, including client generation and customer relationship management strategies.
But many business owners make the mistake of treating business relationships markedly different than personal relationships. Are business relationships really that different from friendships? No, they’re not.
Most consultants strive toward turning one-off clients into lasting client relationships. When this happens, you’ll get to know more and more about your client’s business and personal life, and vice versa. This can strengthen the bond between you and your client, increase customer loyalty and it can make for a more satisfying, efficient and productive business relationship.
Trust is integral to business relationships. Without trust, there is no relationship. Respect for the nature of the relationship is equally important. Over time the lines between business and personal relationships can become blurry as your relationship develops. If both parties trust one another and respect the nature of the relationship, the relationship can blossom into a productive, profitable and pleasurable business experience.
Some new entrepreneurs wonder where to draw the line with how much information to share with their clients. As with friendships, every relationship is different and only you can make that determination. As long as the relationship is based on trust, respect and a mutual understanding about the nature of the relationship, the relationship may take on a life of its one. After all, business relationships are still relationships, no matter which way you look at them.
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