Relationships. They take time to foster, grow and are usually a two-way street, right? Say you finally land that dream client (congrats!) thanks to dedication and persistent effort… but then what? In business, there’s no such thing as driving on cruise control! Sure, it may take you a while to secure those clients and vendors, but what many people fail to realize is that it takes only SECONDS to lose one. It’s a no-brainer: maintaining relationships, whether it’s with your colleagues, other industry professionals or your own clients/vendors, is hard work! It’s up to you to rise up to the challenge!
One of my favorite quotes by Aesop, “no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted,” is applicable to your personal relationships, but in the workplace as well! We all know that it’s difficult working with abrupt individuals who act like you aren’t worth their time of day. Being kind and showing your clients that you are whole-heartedly invested in them is the way to go! Like you, they are human, and need to see that you are willing to go beyond customer service and want to cultivate a strong, healthy relationship. Also, it’s always nice to be thankful and show thanks for the opportunities to work with those colleagues, clients, vendors etc.!!
Regardless of your industry, communication is KEY, and relationships thrive on it. Being visible and available to your clients and those whom you work with helps everyone stay on the same page, adds value and builds trust! There’s a fine line between responding to emails around the clock and checking in every now and then… maintaining a healthy flow of communication is the goal! You can’t expect to go far by ignoring your clients and vendors or falling off the face of the Earth (and vice versa!) – drop a line, pick up the phone or send a card if you have to! Failing to do so could possibly cost you that relationship overnight!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in meetings with clients and right in a middle of a vital part of a conversation, they are sidetracked by their phone or are distracted by x, y, and z. Not only does that show that they are not fully present, but it is rude! Engaging, listening and being fully present when interacting with others definitely demonstrates that you are interested in connecting with them!
There will be a handful of instances where you won’t exactly see eye-to-eye with your clients, vendors or colleagues… and that’s perfectly OK. It’s times like these where you need to talk things out, weigh your options, compromise and find a middle ground! Failing to confront your differences and learning to grow from it is like taking a couple steps back in your relationship. However, if you can’t find that common ground, it might be best to part ways and let go. In the end, it’s about the well-being and success of both parties, not just one. Everyone deserves to work with people who value them and are willing to collaborate!
Sometimes, it’s kindness that makes the world go round. Value and cherish the relationships you have with others by putting in the effort to maintain those ties and communicate! It’s not always strictly about business… we’re all human and we deserve to be treated with respect. Be kind, communicate, be present and learn how to manage conflict!