WHO do you need to build relationships with?

March 1st, 2010

It might seem a little glib, but who is it you need to build relationships with? We know we need to build relationships with customers and clients and, depending on the nature of your business, this might be a potentially large group. We also know that we need to build relationships with contacts who might refer work to us – that’s the part that often starts at networking events.

But who else? Maybe you have staff, or associates / contractors who work with you and you manage them. But, are they part of the business relationship. Do they know about the business as a whole and are they convincing advocates for you?

What about your suppliers? Personally, I find the need to manage the relationship with suppliers as extremely draining. Surely, it’s their responsibility to manage this as I am the customer, spending the money. Yet, it is definitely not always that way. Some suppliers seem to think it doesn’t matter what they do as you are “stuck” with them. And, to some extent, that may be true if you are buying something specialist, obscure, with a long-term commitment. But, for most of what we buy, this isn’t true – you chose the supplier, from a number of possibilities, for a variety of reasons. Re-visit these often and remind the supplier. Are you saving money at the expense of your, or your staff, time. Are you really getting something better or different?

If not, manage them out – and don’t get caught in the same trap with an annoying customer 🙂

Contact me if you’d like to discuss ways of improving working relationships.

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