How Important Are Relationships in Business?

By Alan Olsen

The business world has many aspects and success can be measured in many ways. However, when it comes to being truly successful it’s almost always all about numbers. No matter what type of business you run or how you run it, eventually the bottom line comes into play. However, that doesn’t mean that business, in and of itself is all that matters. In fact, for many people, the actual business they run is only half the story, because when it is all said and done, what really matters are the relationships you make. No matter the situation, relationships are what really count.

Nurture Your Relationships

I recently took some time to meet with Jeff Hayzlett, CEO of Hayzlett Group and we discussed several interesting topics, including the importance of relationships in business and in life. Jeff said he recently attended a conference where a speaker said “it’s all about relationships now.” He was surprised by this comment because for him it’s always been about relationships and it’s never stopped being about relationships. “The best business I’ve ever done in my life, the best things I’ve ever done in my life have been always around relationships.” People need to nurture their relationships, especially anyone who is trying to be a thought leader, or even a business that is trying to take care of its customers.” Jeff said it’s about building a community and then nurturing that community. “That relationship with that customer, that relationship with your spouse, the relationship with your children, the most important thing you could possibly do; you nurture that.”

Give Without Expecting to Get

One way to build and nurture relationships, according to Jeff is to always have a give-first approach. He mentioned a speaker he once heard say that “in order to get you have to give, give, give, and if you give, give, give, you get, get, get.” He has seen that theory play out in his own life. “I’ve always found that to be the case. So one of the things I’ve done in business is help other people. Many people come to me and say ‘well, what did you get out of that?’ Nothing. Eventually I probably will. If nothing else I learned something about the person I was helping or about their business or what they do. So it’s an important thing to do.”

Build Your Business by Building Relationships

Jeff also explained that while relationships are important, the actual business is just as important. You have to focus on your goals and what it is you really want to accomplish and become as a business, as well as determine your conditions of satisfaction. Ask yourself: “What is it that I want to do?” and then you have to figure out how to get other people to buy it from you. So you establish that relationship and then make a promise with your customer. “Business comes first but you start by establishing relationships.”