May 3, 2015

Building Relationships Part 2

This past week I had the satisfaction of meeting with business owners with whom I felt an immediate affinity. This is one of the first steps in building relationships or partnerships. What is the timetable for building these partnerships? How do we know what will work or will grow into a true relationship that will assist or benefit both parties?

First, we must realize that there is no timetable that we can employ that applies in building any relationship. It doesn’t matter if we start building a business relationship or a personal one, we cannot apply an agenda that we can follow to discover if the relationship will be one that is rewarding or will become a basis for mutual success.

Next, we cannot guarantee that the relationship will be successful. Like everyone else, I am very optimistic when starting to build partnerships. I have seen what I thought would be a great partnership just die when one potential partner or the other just doesn’t follow through or do anything to make the relationship work. This is always very frustrating.

Partnerships don’t mean that we all must give a certain amount of referrals to the other person, but it does mean that we make certain that our partner knows that we are there if they need us. If the other person needs someone to listen, partners will be there to listen. If the other partner reaches out looking for an advisor for some purpose, we should do what we can to assist, even referring them to someone else who may know someone else that can help.

These partnerships take time to build, and that time will vary for each relationship that we discover. We may know immediately that the relationship will be successful. We might be in for a long haul, building the relationship over lots of work, effort, and time. We should never prejudge possible relationships, either to give up or to work trying to salvage something that may never develop.

Relationships and partnerships may flourish over time even when we thought they would never begin. They may also die for reasons over which we have no control. Sometimes we may work too hard to save them, or we may not work hard enough. We should always strive to err on the side of trying, even if we apply too much effort. I personally would rather know that I tried too hard in lieu of not trying enough.

Relationships of all types are very tricky and may turn better or worse over time. While there is no timetable for building networking partnerships, we must still take the steps to do so. Relationships with other business partners will benefit all of us, maybe directly, but also indirectly. We cannot exist alone or just keep looking for the next customer. We must work to build relationships and keep our businesses growing, based on the clients and partners that we keep and maintain.

We must all look to know, like, and trust new individuals, in business and in our personal lives. While we don’t know in advance how long this process will take, or even if it will succeed, the rewards are so great that we cannot fail to try. To not try, and try again, means that our businesses will not succeed and we as owners will not grow personally or as business people. Your pro or con comments here, or your emails at, or your calls at 360-314-8691 are always welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Right on, again, Mr. Jim. And I certainly value our relationship.