I hung up the phone with a vendor and thought to myself how nice that I’ve gotten to know this person so much better over the last several years. What started out as casual business exchanges has turned into additional conversations about family, children, grandchildren, weekend plans, illnesses, even kitchen renovations and custody battles. Sometimes I think, wow, I just spent 20 to 30 minutes talking to this vendor in the middle of a swamped day. But, I think nurturing these work relationships, whether this is with vendors, clients or your employees is crucial to the health of your business. By caring about people’s well-being, you set yourself up for rich rewards. Not only does it make the day and each interaction with them more interesting, but you also develop friendships and a deeper respect for each other as individuals and as business associates. In situations where someone might need a favor, both sides are more willing to go to bat for each other. You establish a mutual trust.
So, next time you find yourself in a conversation with a business associate, listen carefully. Take the time to connect and engage with the person you are talking to. You never know what bonds you may form and what opportunities might arise.