People Do Business With People They Like￼
There are countless ways to work on building and maintaining a successful business. The world is awash in tips, techniques, how-to books, webinars, Ted Talks, and consultants, all looking to help you get there. We’ve read, listened, and watched a lot of what’s out there, and also spent a good amount of time on things like developing our social media network. There’s no doubt that these efforts have paid off.
But looking back on our years in business, thinking of the clients that have stuck with us and vice versa, every one of those opportunities arose from and thrived on a genuine, one-on-one, personal relationship. It turns out people really do buy from people they like. If you’d asked me a while back, I might have said that referrals were the lifeblood of our business, but that misses the mark, because the best referrals can always be traced back to that trusted relationship.
Writing in Forbes, CEO and business coach Sam Kaufman stresses the importance of honing the relationship-building skills.
“Building relationships is possibly the most important skill an entrepreneur can acquire if they’re looking to grow a real company,” Kaufman says. “You need to have the ability to acquire, maintain, nurture, and grow relationships.”
Acting on the advice of a business coach a few years back, we reached out to five of our best clients and asked if we might come and interview them about our services and how we’re helping. To our surprise, we received the warmest of welcomes at every stop, and these conversations inevitably veered off into the personal stuff. We learned a lot about our clients and their business, and the relationships were enriched to become less about a cold transaction and more about a genuine partnership.
Consistently delivering on your promises, collaborating enthusiastically with clients and partners, and creating a company culture of trust are a few of the everyday best practices that can build trust and grow the kinds of lasting relationships that sustain a successful business. And while getting out there and doing the networking necessary to build strong relationships can sometimes seem like work, the positive results make the effort more than worthwhile.
The late, great record producer Jack Clement used to say, “If we’re not having fun then we’re not doing our jobs,” and we’ve lived that philosophy from day one here at Cronin Creative. That’s another thing about strong, authentic relationships; they make work – and life – a lot more enjoyable. And when we’re feeling good about the people and the process, when we’re really having fun, that’s when we do our very best work. And you gotta love that!