Relationships, relationships, relationships. Much like how location influences property value in real estate, solid relationships impact business success. Yes, you need solid marketing and effective sales. Sure, systems and processes matter. Certainly, you must deliver excellent services or products.
But, while each of these aspects of your firm matters, one of the greatest drivers of business success is the connection to other people.
Relationships within a business can be defined in three categories:
- Network relationships: Colleagues and business connections that open opportunities and help get things done.
- Internal relationships: Employees and contractors who help the business run
- External relationships: Clients who benefit from your services or products.
Each sphere matters. Greatly. In this article, we’ll focus on external relationships with clients who put their trust in you to deliver quality service. Solid relationships can lead to inbound leads via referrals, happy clients who evangelise your awesomeness, a long list of testimonials and online reviews that make it easier to win new clients, and a sense of satisfaction as you delight your clients over and over again.
I’m sharing my personal experience from running a service-based small business for nearly 13 years, as well as insights I’ve gleaned working closely with CEOs and top executives in mid- to large-size companies ranging from valuations in the millions to $1 billion. While these tips are scalable depending on your business stage, I’ve targeted them to solopreneurs, small business owners, and leaders.