In every action each day, your company interacts with people and organizations that influence your success. How you interact with these groups significantly contributes to your individual and corporate success. Defining and identifying the needs of these business relationships is your first step to solid sales growth.
The relationship realms that pertain to your business life are:
Importance of business relationships
Other relationships exist; however, these six relationships represent those who directly influence your company and how it interacts with the outside world.
If any of the business relationships are poor, they draw energy away from the other relationships. For example, a well-known fact is that poor co-worker relations eventually lead to poor customer relations. Each of these realms builds on one another, starting with your personal relations, moving through your company’s relationship with its shareholders.
Building business relationships contribute to company objectives
With a corporate philosophy based on effective professional relations, it is most important not to dramatically change anything about what you are doing but concentrate on one thing at a time as it contributes to your overall corporate objectives. These methods tune your existing processes instead of replacing them.
Over time, your current thinking was developed for some valid reason. This must be the case. Otherwise, you would not still be thinking that way. Therefore, it is essential to improve those points where you are deficient while keeping current on your strengths. Too frequently, new methods are adopted without considering those strengths you already possess.
Relationships are the foundation of B2B companies
Business relationships serve as a foundation and glue enabling your organization to support corporate success. However, they do not create corporate success as much as they allow you to maintain success.
Little-known internal strengths are highlighted through solid business relationships with those outside your company. These relationships reinforce your efforts while demonstrating your companies’ ability to stand behind its products or services.
How do business relationships influence the corporate’s success?
A strong positive relationship with employees develops pride and respect for corporate leadership. This pride and respect translate into higher product quality, loyalty, and greater job satisfaction. Customers see this in the way employees interact with them.
A senior manager has issues with alcohol which leads to inattention at work. Employees learn to work without direction from the manager, and this independence has to lead them away from corporate objectives.
You replaced the senior manager; however, the new manager does not influence the employees because of precedence set by the previous manager. Until the relationship is repaired, the new manager is just as ineffective as the last.
Your company has experienced an unexpected need to recall products because of fatalities. News sources portray your company as irresponsible, while the product in the recall is only one of the hundreds of products you produce. Your customers expect a prompt solution to the situation.
At the same time, your employees wanted to investigate the real reasons behind the problem before a total recall. The negative industry news is drawing customers towards your competitors. You will continue to lose customers until the relationship is repaired for the faulty product and stronger business relationships are established for other products.
You are seen as a leader in your industry because you deliver quality products in a timely fashion. As a result, your customers are loyal to your product, and employees are of higher quality than average.
These positive business relationships types allow your company more favourable reviews, news coverage, and complimentary editorial inclusion. A higher level of positive exposure leads to an increase in product sales.
Strong business relationships help you receive extra effort from those you interact with, while poor relationships draw people away. Success in each relationship realm provides certain benefits not available to others in the same group. However, these trusted situations are only available to those who deliver what is expected or promised to the target realm.
Business relationships of the sales executive
As a B2B sales executive, you have direct access to the relationship realms of self, family, and co-workers — and only an effective relationship with the remaining realms. This means you must convey these principles to enable your sales team to improve relationships in each customer, community, industry, vendor/partner, and shareholder group.
Further, since all action and guidance come from you (the person in charge), you must enable your employees to build these outlying business relationships independently.
Educating your team is your responsibility
It is a sequential process requiring solid relationships with yourself, building out to family, then employees through to shareholders. First, take care of your responsibilities of teaching corporate vision, methods, and benefits of achieving business objectives. The remaining realms will take care of themselves.
However, employee turnover is a given, so continuing education is necessary to teach this corporate culture to maintain consistency in all business relationships.
You will see the power of business relationships in the interactions between each group. They are not measurable in the sense of performance criteria. Still, they can serve as a starting point for improving these quantifiable characteristics of a company.
Look at the honesty, tone or posture, and level of communications between each realm — breakdowns can alert your company of more significant problems not yet identified.
How to build strong business relationships?
Each realm builds on the one before it. Start with your own business relationships. To evaluate yourself;
- Is your business life what you expected?
- Would you like to work less or earn more?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Do you need to learn something new to make your job easier?
Develop additional questions as they pertain to your business for both yourself and your team. For example, some executives are not happy with the way their career has turned out and have not taken the time to identify where they can improve their own situation.
This leads them to put extra pressure on employees or have unrealistic demands based on their own inadequacies.
Develop an action plan before handling the problems
Take the time to develop a plan of action to address any issues uncovered before moving on to handle situations inside your company. Once you have some level of satisfaction with your own business relationships, then you can start working on your employees.
Remember, if you are worried about personal deficiencies or other personal issues, how are you going to be successful managing others?
After getting your personal situation straight, your mind will be clear to work on the quality of your relationships with employees. Work is no longer an escape from your problems at home; it becomes a tool to enhance your personal well-being while serving others. From this foundation, you can start building business relationships with your employees.
Building relationships at work
Building effective business relationships within your team consists of three levels. The top-level is your leadership, which in effect proxy your own abilities to the next level of senior sales experts, then finally to individual salespeople. First, start educating your sales experts on your vision for the company, ask about their expectations, and develop quality measures necessary to that group.
Encourage your top-level sales professionals to improve their own situations before instructing salespeople on improving their business relationships. This sometimes-slow process requires trust and a belief in higher corporate objectives.
Teach your senior staff to convey this question-asking method, having each individual develop questions as they pertain to the company’s objectives and their own expectations.
Share your vision with your team
While your staff understands the value of relationships in business, take the opportunity to share your vision with the rest of the organization. Utilize your newsletters, public appearances, industry, and speaking opportunities to state I see our company doing X in 5 years.
Your consistent message reinforces the company’s business objectives and builds continuity with the messages your managers are providing. If you constantly relay and address the concerns of each relationship realm while developing a plan of action to carry out the objectives of the business — your sales revenue will grow.
Conclusion for business relationships
Overall, your company gains internal stability and a consistent message that guides actions while addressing the needs of those realms you serve. While business relationships grow, it becomes easier to educate customers about products or services, in effect reducing barriers to entry for new purchases.