It’s Just Business, Right? Actually, It’s Not
For entrepreneurs, everything is personal.
It’s tempting to believe that the life of an entrepreneur is divided into two kinds of relationships: business and personal. But in fact, no matter what kind of business you’re in, the most successful bonds you form are the ones where personal connections are forged.
That’s the finding of researchers who recently looked at successful long-term B2B sales people and discovered that business relationships actually evolve in three distinct phases.
“First, business partners became collaborative partners and, ultimately,...personal partners,” the researchers found.
Thanks for reading SmallTLK! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
While these personal relationships are initially somewhat superficial, over time they deepen and both parties begin to discuss more personal topics such as “divorce, bankruptcy, personal values, and future business plans,” the researchers said. That’s when the relationships truly become beneficial in a business sense.
Strong personal relationships will surely help your business grow and thrive.
As you might expect these personal relationships have a positive impact on business goals. Deeper trust and better communication led to better outcomes including time savings, more efficient work and an ability to work closely with the customers to achieve common goals. And, although the researchers didn’t spell it out — strong personal relationships will surely help your business grow and thrive.
This likely comes as no surprise to anyone who has run their own business. Relationships with customers, suppliers, other local businesses and even employees really come down to trust, respect and finding common ground.
It also requires being a good listener and asking a lot of questions. And that’s something anyone can do. It’s great to remember the next time you embark on a new business relationship that the most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to focus on making a personal connection first.
Special Offer for SmallTLK readers: Are you starting a new business or do you already own a business that is going through a transition or growth phase? Either way, having a good business plan is essential to making things happen. Once it’s written down you’re more likely to commit to it. But writing a business plan is hard work! I’ve partnered with LivePlan, a cloud-based business plan writing software with templates and guidance on how to write the perfect business plan. SmallTLK readers who sign up for LivePlan receive 40% off an annual plan or 25% on a monthly plan (for the first three months). You can learn more and sign up here. (Please note that SmallTLK receives a small commission for any reader who signs up. This allows me to keep my newsletter free to readers.)