This post is part of the The Word Chef Blog Blog Carnival hosted by Tea Silvestre.
Is a fee in exchange for a service or product, and having a relationship, as in a ‘state of being connected’, incongruous?
For all the posturing about business relationships, is it a hollow concept that disguises a remorseless quest for a dollar.
Dear reader (and potential business relation), that is a deeply cynical view. One that describes a harsh commercial environment in which the sole motivation is truck loads of dosh.
Luckily for us, most of us aspire to an honest business life. We wish to create abundant wealth by providing the very best knowledge, service or product within our means.
This is even more evident online, as we work to serve our international community with tips, techniques, free products, advice, ebooks and valuable content in the attempt to build relationships.
The idea of relationship marketing has gained ground. Offline and online businesses now grasp the notion that free and valuable content can be traded for an equally valuable list of names and email addresses. And, that this gives them permission to communicate regularly with those on the list.
Is the onus on the ‘giver’ to create the relationship? Or do we conclude that as the ‘receiver’ has accepted the offer, they have signalled a desire to enter into a courtship? Batted their virtual eyelashes, so to speak.
How you view this tentative first step to a long term business relationship makes a difference to how you approach the subsequent dialogue.
How many of us have been treated with the discourtesy, like a first date making inappropriate demands, of being bombarded with sales letters just after tentatively signing up to the courtship?
Old fashioned romancing
Do we all want just a tad of romance first? Do we enjoy a little bit of hand-holding before we’re expected to leap into a full blown romp, often with a massive price tag?
We do want to be treated with decorum, respect and even to be flattered a little. We do enjoy being made to feel special in another’s world, especially if they’re perceived to be an expert. We love the opportunity to explain our circumstances, outline our needs, and feel as if they’re really being listened to. We respond warmly to genuine help, good advice and new knowledge.
It excites us. We want to tell our family and friends. It’s not that difficult to turn us into advocates.
A prosperous marriage
Confidence, clarity, collaboration and consistency: these are all attributes that can kindle a roaring fire in any heart. Add to the mix expertise, being listened to, and made to feel supported, and you’ve got the beginnings of a successful business partnership.
Grudging compliance and enrolment
Have you ever wondered why some relationships just don’t seem to work no matter how hard you try. Almost if your best efforts are being sabotaged? Your opposite number may be in grudging compliance.
Does this sound familiar? They know they need what you have to offer, but they really can’t be bothered. Or they think if they just had the time, talent, technology and training, they could do it themselves. So why pay you? These people will not change.
Enrolment is the client who collaborates. They want to achieve results and will troubleshoot issues with you.
A quick and painless end
How do you judge when to stop hanging on?
If once the courtship is over, they no longer value your work, undermine what you do for them, increase the scope of work and refuse to pay for the extra time, change their minds mid stream, praise one day and complain the next, leave you hanging on for aeons before giving the go ahead…it’s time to produce the virtual guillotine.
“Dear person, I believe your needs would be better served by someone other than myself (or our company, organisation etc). Here is a list of people, (companies, organisations etc) which we believe will deliver you a great service. Good bye and good luck.”
Don’t linger. Don’t waste energy on a negative relationship. It will not get any better. Cut it away and use your energies to work with those who are enrolled in your partnership.
Join us for a fun and informative 1-hour Tweet Chat about Business Relationships, how to build them and nurture them on Thursday, September at 1 pm Eastern / 4 pm Pacific. Your participation in the Tweet Chat enters you into a drawing for a $50 Amazon Gift Card.