Business relationships aren’t defined only as those between your clients and your business. Relationships with suppliers are of equal, if not greater, importance. No matter what industry you’re in, you will always interact with someone during your routine workday – even if you’re a service provider.
Would you want to be known as being gruff and hard to work with? Probably not. No one wants to be labeled that way. Luckily, you can take some quick and easy steps to ensure that your suppliers and clients regard you highly and recognize you as someone who appreciates relationships.
Think about how you interact with people daily. Are you smiling when you answer your phone? Or, if you’re having a particularly rough day, do you answer abruptly and without that smile on your face? The person on the other end can easily ascertain which of the two emotions you’re feeling. Would you rather deal with someone who is actively smiling or with a disgruntled ogre? Take a moment or two to think about it.
You’ll find it much easier to seek assistance from someone you’ve established a great relationship with than someone you have annoyed or alienated.
Because we can easily get caught up in the day’s pressures, it’s important to review texts and emails before pressing that “send” button. I suggest that you put your email or text program in draft mode, especially if you’re having a bad day. Then reread what you’re about to send when you’re feeling less rushed or upset. Often, you’ll notice that the tone of your email or text reflects your mood. In some cases, you may decide it’s better not to send anything than to leave a lasting bad impression.
Have you ever heard the expression “You’ll catch more bees with honey than vinegar”? Cultivating good relationships with suppliers can pay off unexpectedly. Let’s say you find yourself in a predicament with a supplier or provider. You’ll find it much easier to seek assistance from someone you’ve established a great relationship with than someone you have annoyed or alienated. A solid relationship can mean the difference between a supplier or provider who is willing to go out on a limb to address your issue and one who is reluctant to take that extra step to help you.
The same logic applies to clients. What if you make a mistake when serving a customer? We’re all human, after all. Clients will be more forgiving if you have established a great relationship with them. I know, because – regrettably – it has happened to me more than once.
As you can see, sometimes it’s best to take a deep breath and think before you speak, email or text. And when you do, make sure you do it with a smile on your face!
Valarie Contrino holds the designation, Certified Travel Associate (CTA), a professional certification recognized by the travel industry. As the owner/President of Contrino Travel, her company acts as a host agency for other Independent Contractors who share her love of travel. Additionally, she serves as an adjunct professor at the College of Staten Island, where she currently teaches a course entitled “How to Start your Home-Based Travel Agency”. Valarie has also written articles sharing her travel expertise, having been featured in Staten Island Parent, Staten Island Chamber newsletters and on ezine.com. In 2012, she was named one of Travel Agent Central’s Top 25 Agents nationwide.Connect with Valarie