Relationship or Transaction?

I often hear my clients and salespeople say, “I am in the relationship business.” I wonder whether that has the same meaning between any two people. Are they saying that they get referrals as the highest form of leads? Are they talking about their skill to connect with people? Aren’t we all in the relationship business? After all, it is people that make business happen generally. People buy from people they like and trust.

Is your business truly built on relationships? How much is that relationship worth? At what cost might you sacrifice the relationship? For example, perhaps you have a referral source who has truly added value to you. When they refer you business, do you cross-sell that person back? What if you are partnering with that person in the deal? Have you thrown them under the bus to get the deal? Would you forgo the deal if it means your partner wins?

How about another scenario. Are you a salesperson who is led by the almighty carrot? Are you up and down emotionally based on your next deal? Are you so fixated on your pipeline that your emotions affect the people closest to you like your family, co-workers, partners or past customers? Are your relationships only as good as your pipeline?

Think about an alternative way to approach selling. Build it on adding value. When times are dry, invest more deeply into your partners and co-workers. Create stronger bonds. That old saying from Zig Ziglar always rings true, “If you help enough people get what they want in life, you will have everything you want.” Do you believe this? If your business is built on transactions, it will be hard to grasp. If it is truly built on relationships, the world will open up to you. You will be able to view transactions in their rightful place – consequential to your excellent relationships.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

2 thoughts on “Relationship or Transaction?

  1. Don, OUTSTANDING article… You are right on target as it relates “Relationships to Transactions”. Sure, pipeline is very important but life is all about relationships. People do by from people they like and TRUST. Once you lose someones trust the game is over. If you take care of the relationships the pipeline will take care of itself…

  2. Don:

    I REALLY enjoyed this. One of the main focuses of my business is in helping people build strong foundations in their business relationships ( all of this can be applied to personal relationships as well) and to bring value to their relationships–primarily by giving. I am a firm believer in the more that you give the more you get back. This can be done in so many ways…The key is to give without expectations for getting something back– In business it can be easily accomplished by listening to someone’s needs, giving thoughtful suggestions that might help them with their business, becoming a trusted advisor, and most importantly by showing appreciation for the value that they bring to the relationship. To me this is the basis for building strong bonds both professionally and personally. Thanks for the GREAT article—–

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