Business is built on relationships

Business relationships are essential

Here’s a challenge if you disagree: try and start up a business, then maintain it as an ongoing profitable concern, without anyone else’s input or assistance.

You simply cannot do it alone.

That’s why business relationships are essential.

To be successful in business, you must be able to create and nurture these relationships.


What’s in a good business relationship?

The core requirement for a good business relationship is that both parties benefit. It’s a two-way value exchange.

You may approach the initiation of a future relationship with the question “What’s in it for me?” This needs to be balanced by the realisation that once the ice is broken, there should be benefits for both parties.

If one seeks a relationship based purely on receiving benefits, then there is a problem. It won’t motivate others to invest in that sort of relationship.

Business relationships are essential for a range of reasons. Here are some important ones:

  1. Business relationships promote your company and provide opportunity.
  2. Strong business relationships help you and your team perform better.
  3. Business relationships enhance your communications skills.
  4. Friendships are formed through business partnerships.
  5. Business relationships provide a powerful sense of fulfilment.


Where do we start?

Beyond the immediate supporting service provider connections you generate, there’s the wider market to address. LinkedIn is a helpful forum for establishing and expanding business relationships.

The process starts with a review of a prospective connection’s profile to reveal the mutual interests, connections or experiences that people are drawn together with.

The next step is to send a personalised invitation request.

The automated option is not the way to go.

It suggests that the effort to commence a conversation is too onerous for the possible outcome. Think of it like walking around at a networking event, fronting people, blurting out your name, then saying “OK, talk to me.” Probably not going to go down very well, don’t you think?

When you receive a personalised connection request, review it with genuine consideration. Assess if there’s a good connection, where both you and the inviter are likely to share some mutual interest. When asking “what’s in it for me?” recall that you need to bring value to the relationship too.


Considered Assessment

Let’s assume that the person sending the invite has written a considered request, not a ‘hope to add numbers to their network’ for whatever reason. Let’s also assume that their profile is authentic and descriptive.

Here’s an essential consideration when deciding to accept or reject the invitation. In business, everyone is marketing. It’s essential. Future business activity and revenue generation is entirely dependent on it. That means you are marketing too. You must be.

Beyond the caveats above, some invitations are valid to be rejected. They may be ill considered, have a hidden motive, or are a one-way benefit for the inviter.

Back to the invite that’s genuine. It’s important to consider for a moment, the outcome of your choice to reject this genuine and aligned request. You’re marketing too.

A hasty rejection can lead to the sender developing an erroneous opinion. Of you, and of your company. If you have a Premium account, you can send In-Mail to unconnected members. You can avoid the wrong impression with a brief note.

Let’s assume that you’re “too busy” to respond to the rejected link. We all harbour a list of cognitive biases, simply because we’re all human and fallible.

The rejected person is open to falling into the selection bias trap here.

Their negative impression of one company member (you) has lodged in their mind. This can lead to the additive bias of extrapolation error. That means their negative impression of one encounter with one person from your company is likely to indicate the result of many others. It’s not valid, but it is a common human behaviour.


What’s the take-away?

Let’s recap some important considerations:

  1. In business, everyone is marketing. You are too.
  2. Business relationships promote your company and provide opportunity.
  3. Business relationships provide a powerful sense of fulfilment.


If none of this seems all that relevant to you, fine.

Just reflect for a moment about how Elon Musk is getting on. Or for greater effect, say, Vladimir Putin.

Business relationships are essential for success. Be open and willing to invest in new ones as well as nurturing existing ones.

You will reap the rewards.


About Us

Peter Crane has spent over thirty years working with Tier One production companies, helping them deliver efficient capital investments, reducing waste, improving performance and increasing investor confidence. Armed with practical experience in capital planning, project delivery, engineering services, construction management and strategic asset management in the infrastructure and resources sectors, Peter offers a unique insight into operational roadblocks – and how to fix them.

If you are interested in understanding how to improve your business performance, why not schedule a discovery call with Peter and the team at SER Solutions today?

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