Welcome back to the N.J.W Blog Where our main focus is to provide value for you. So that our personal life can improve. You always learn something new every day!
This week, we focuse on the value and importance of our business relationships. We will give many excellent points and share the core principles involved in creating and maintaining healthy, successful, win-win business relationships.
In keeping with today’s theme, we’ve noticed (and I’m sure you have, too) that while many companies and individuals might be struggling right now, there is also a group of companies and individuals flourishing. We’ve also noticed there are some common characteristics found in these companies and individuals who seem to do well during uncertain times. Here are five characteristics that stand out:
– These companies and individuals operate with a win-win philosophy and inherently value their business relationships with customers, employees and vendors. When you understand and appreciate this principle, it allows you to create and receive value both on a short- and long-term basis, as well as recognize and be available for new opportunities that present themselves.
– These companies and individuals have an entrepreneurial mindset. Although it’s true that when a boom is going on the entrepreneur is often leading the way, I’ve also noticed that when the water is high (things are going well), everything tends to even out and most everyone seems to do well. But when it all starts to go south, it’s then that entrepreneurs can rise more quickly and distinguish themselves. Their ability to take risks, be decisive, recognize and seize opportunity, and to basically “create” allows them to find a way to make things happen.
– These companies and individuals have an excellent work ethic and focus. In sports, dominant athletes, beyond their remarkable ability and talent, often have something more that helps propel them into greatness: their fierce competitiveness and their incredible work ethic. How do you beat the most talented person in the world when they will also outwork you and have a “will to win” that is not to be exceeded? Well, the same is true in business. The top performers do not get complacent. They do not rest on their laurels, and they don’t decide that because they are doing well or are at the top that they are good enough. Their work ethic and drive to be their personal best have allowed previous victories and momentum to carry over into more success, even in difficult times.
– These companies and individuals have made a commitment to succeed, the prerequisite to all successes. As Jim Rohn says, all good things are upstream, but the natural tendency is downstream. Commitment creates the mindset that allows us to face challenges, shut out negative circumstances and discomfort, and then move upstream toward our goals.
– These companies and individuals operate out of faith. Without faith, it is impossible to take risk. Without faith, it is impossible to make investments of time and effort in the present hoping for a future reward. And without faith, it is impossible to make short-term sacrifices on a consistent basis. Faith allows you to be free to give and be your best, knowing the reward will manifest itself sometime in the future. Faith also allows you to find the opportunity often disguised in the form of a problem or challenge. While others are “missing it” or spending their time and energy complaining, the person/company of faith is identifying and seizing new opportunities.
Question: How do you rate yourself in these five areas? Much of where you find yourself today could be directly related to how well you have fared the past few years in regards to the five points. The good news is that today is a new day, a new opportunity.
Remember, now is your time, the time to work on yourself, your relationships, your business, etc., and then to attract all the success outcomes you deserve. While you create the new you, look at every challenge you face as an opportunity to “create” new and better outcomes.
Life is full of opportunities—go for them!
Part Four—Business Relationships
This month we are exploring the secrets of successful relationships, and are seeking to understand what ingredients make healthy relationships in our lives. We are looking at four main areas:
Basics of Healthy Relationships. There are certain fundamentals that, if mastered, will take you down the road of healthy relationships. The key to understanding relationships is that relationships involve people. And while every person is different, there are general principles that make most people tick. If we understand these basics or fundamentals and operate accordingly, we can make our bad relationships good and our good relationships great. We covered these basics three weeks ago.
Family and Spousal Relationships. The primary relationships most people have are with their family. Yes, that wonderful enigma we call family, those deep and meaningful relationships that can bring the highlights—and the lowlights—of life. That group of people, many of whom we didn’t even get to choose, who will walk through this life with us. Your family relationships must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship growing and flourishing. We discussed how to have great family and spousal relationships two weeks ago.
Friendships. Second to family, friends are the most important relationships we have. Friendships are unique because they are the relationships we have that are almost entirely voluntary. You don’t get to choose your parents or your siblings, but you do get to choose your friends. So many times, we find these relationships provide matchless dynamics not found in our other relationships. These can, in their own special way, enhance our other relationships, making these friendships especially unique. We took a deeper look into successful friendships last week.
Business Relationships. Many people don’t understand how powerful relationships are in business. You’ve heard me say it before, but you cannot succeed by yourself. It is hard to find a rich hermit. So many times, we underestimate this unique dynamic and the potential it has to take us to new levels in our businesses. We may understand that family and friends are about relationships, but mistakenly think “business is business.” The fact is, even in business, relationships rule. Think for a moment about two salespeople: one is a friend and one you’ve never met. When it comes right down to it, you are most likely to buy from the one you know. That is the foundation of relationships. Today we will look at how to have great business relationships.
To begin, I want to give you three goals of healthy business relationships and then six aspects of healthy business relationships.
First, the three goals of healthy business relationships.
Honor the value of the other party. The primary goal we should have in any relationship, even in business, is to honor the innate value of each person or party involved. Every person has tremendous value, and in the midst of our interactions with them, we should remember that and act with the utmost respect for them, showing them they are valued and important. If our business degrades the value of another human being, it is no longer an honorable business. People are important, no matter who they are, and we should treat as such.
Produce a profit for each party. Business should be good for each party. This doesn’t mean each person should make the same amount—that would be socialism—but we should be capitalistic in our approach and profit, while at the same time being good people who make sure deals are fair, honorable and a win-win for everyone involved. At its core, producing a profit means touching something and leaving it better than you found it. Each party, in a long-lasting business relationship, should be able to take home a profit. We should structure our businesses in such a way that will enable us to sustain long-term business relationships.
Create value for each party and for the consumer. Not only should each person and party understand and know their own value, but the consumer should have an excellent product or service available to them. There is something inherently good about providing goods and services that are excellent. We should never say, “Well, it doesn’t matter if the product is good; they will buy it anyway.” They may buy it, but that doesn’t mean it is right for you to sell it. One of the goals of healthy business relationships is to work together to provide value not only for each party, but for the customer as well.
Now, let’s take a look at what I consider to be six important aspects of business relationships.
Always act with integrity. The key to all relationships, including business relationships, is to act with integrity at all times. Don’t pull one over on a client in order to get the sale. Dishonest people may get the first sale, but they don’t get any more after the client figures out they acted without integrity. Those who act with integrity build lifelong clients who help build their businesses.
Create win-win relationships and opportunities. Many people go into business with the sole goal of “getting the sale.” Whatever they need to do, however they need to convince someone, they will do whatever it takes—they want to win! Unfortunately, this is extremely shortsighted. Those who develop long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships are those who win, but they also make sure their business partners win, too. They make sure that in every relationship everyone is satisfied, because when people aren’t satisfied, they will probably back out of the relationship. And what’s powerful is that when you do more than expected and you deliver more than promised, you are making an investment in your future and the future success of that business relationship.
Be loyal beyond price. We live in a world that is increasingly focused on the bottom line. Now, don’t get me wrong, we need to get a good and fair price for what we buy and sell, but there is more to consider than price. Sometimes a business relationship will have to raise prices on you. That’s OK, if it is fair and justified. At this point, many people let the relationship go and look elsewhere, but I have found it’s best to remain loyal as long as you can when you are in a good relationship. Good business relationships are hard to find and they take time to develop, so don’t look just at the bottom line.
Give—don’t take. It is important to be a giver and not a taker. If you are more of a taker than a giver, you aren’t really a part of the network but just a “hanger-on.” If you have the resources or know someone who does, share with others. This makes you a valuable asset in the network, and someone people will want involved and active in the network.
Succeed at what you do. If you are successful in what you do, you will be sought out. Successful people want to connect and do business with other successful people. They will want you in their network. Do the best you can, accomplish as much as you can, and watch your network become all that you want it to be!
Keep records. Keep a list of names, dates, phone numbers and addresses—anything to help you remember people beyond just their business. This way, you can drop them a note on their birthday or when their alma mater wins a big game. This kind of attention to business relationships goes a long way, and nowadays has become a lost art. So, pay attention to the little details that so many people miss and take the opportunity to keep that “personal touch” in your business relationships, and watch your relationships soar to a whole-new level of success!
Until next week, let’s do something remarkable!