• philhutchinson

2 of the keys to successful business relationships...


Today I was fortunate enough to have another nice and productive meeting with a trusted client, planning work into and beyond 2021. Aces!

As a part of this process, I was invited to do some stuff which is not in my current offering. Some bits I have promised to develop but others I have suggested referring to trusted colleagues. My client appreciated the honesty and support and is happy to follow my lead on recommendations.

There are lots of things to take from this but here are two key points if you want to generate and maintain successful business relationships:

Point 1: Know your offering

Do what you do best and be willing to flex, but not to breaking point. I don’t care what anyone says, the answer isn’t always yes! If something takes you out of your comfort zone then consider the time and energy it will take to develop and learn if you want to grow your skill or product base. If it’s something you don’t want to do or won’t enjoy however, then why damage your reputation by doing what will essentially by a sub-standard job? Your reputation is key and will be massively influenced by the quality of your work, so do what you do best and enjoy it!

Point 2: Give freely, but give carefully

What a lovely feeling to be able to provide a genuine referral to a trusted colleague or friend! It’s hard work getting work so it’s a fantastic feeling to be able to offer something to someone who you know will do a great job for your client. But here’s the key; you have to KNOW that they will do a great job or guess who will suffer the consequences? Yes, the referral is unlikely to be given any further work from that organisation, but it’s your reputation and relationship which will take the hit.

So, do what do best and think carefully about your referrals; only go to people if you know and trust their work.

If you need to consider trust development then perhaps this is a good time to refresh on the Trust Equation which I’ve talked about before.

The equation gives an insight into how to build trust in your relationships and suggests that if you could assign a value, say out of 100 to your levels of Reliability (proven track record) Credibility (demonstrated skills, knowledge and understanding) and Intimacy (emotional intelligence and genuine interest in the other person) the added totals could then be divided by your assigned Self Interest value (if your agenda is self-serving and hidden then your SI value will be high but if you are transparent and open about balancing their needs with yours, the value would be low.) Ultimately, you’re looking to have higher values on the top, divided by a lower value underneath to give you a better trust rating.

There you have it! 2 key points and a cheeky bonus refresher on the Trust Equation! Hope that was of use to you but if not, have a great weekend anyway and I’ll see you soon for more ramblings!

Phil @ Lantern

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