Please Care About Your Relationships

The individual who cares less holds all the power.
I think this is a horrible way to start a relationship, but all too often it is how we attempt coming together. This is a fundamental concept in negotiation, selling relationships, business relationships. It even applies to personal relationships.
What if we decided to stop living by this mantra? What if we decided that enough was enough with the power struggle?
I believe the best relationships, which the best relationships are the only ones worth having, are those in which both parties feel thankful to have the other. Each party would be devastated to lose the other.
If a vendor went out of business, the purchaser of that vendor’s products would too. If one spouse dies, the remaining spouse dies with them. These are the relationships I want.

Why is it so often we play the relationships power game?

This concept does not only apply to business. I have watched friends date. This is the best environment to watch people try to build a relationship.
It is basic and primal. Watching two people try and earn each other’s love. But when I watch them date and interact, it is all about who can care less. Who can have the power in the relationship?
The goal is to remove the vulnerability. But if you’re not vulnerable, then what is the point? Who wins?
The answer: nobody wins. As I watched my friend date and try to struggle for power it didn’t work. They broke up. Now they’re both alone.
I have watched this in business as well. I have watched a colleague try and sell a customer, but was having no success. The colleague’s strategy was to not appear desperate. They made it seem as though they did not need the customer. They wanted the power in the relationship for better price negotiation.
The colleague wanted to make a few extra bucks. They didn’t get the sale because the customer could sense they didn’t want the business. The plan backfired. The colleague missed quota.
I don’t think this plan works anymore, or maybe it never did. In an environment, as competitive as the one we are in, where everybody is trying to make a living, the best way to build a relationship is to be thankful. To solve problems and provide solutions.
We need to create relationships where both parties are thankful. My solution to get there is:


Caring is such a simple concept but gets overlooked. Businesses get accused of not caring all the time.
People say: “All they care about is profits” and “They don’t care about the customers”. This is occasionally the case, but more often it is a perception. When perception is a reality, the reality is you don’t care.
Care about the people you want to build a relationship with and make it perceptible. Ensure they know you care and value their partnership.

Be Empathetic

Seth Godin recently had an article defining empathy. I find it eloquent and thorough. Empathy is understanding. Try and understand the other person and what makes them tick.
This not only allows you to be a better partner but also provide a better solution.

Provide Value

I have written about this before, but it can’t be overstated. What value are you providing? This could be customers, colleagues, friends or loved ones. What are you giving to them that is of value and importance?
Value comes in many forms and is not always immediately monetized. Not only provide value but provide the type of value that is valuable to the people you are trying to provide value to.

Be Honest

Honesty is the best policy. This isn’t in the context of not lying. Honesty is believing in what you say, and the products you promote.
People sense if you are not bought into your own message. Be authentic and honest with yourself and the message you are promoting.

Become Indispensable

Becoming indispensable is holding up your end of the bargain. In a relationship, where each person believes the other is essential, it is your job to make yourself indispensable.
This means doing all the above. Working hard to put more into the relationship than you expect to receive. Becoming indispensable can’t be self-serving. Put in the work.
Having a relationship that is built upon both parties being thankful is difficult and takes time. But, quality relationships are how you build businesses.
How will you start building your relationships?
Good luck and good selling!

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