10 Ideas That Make Business Relationships Work

Many salespeople and sales managers that I meet and work with are really excellent at their job. They accentuate the positive nature of what they do, and create reasons for clients to not only do business with them in the first place, but also remain loyal, even in the face of concerns and trouble.

What do they bring to the client that make them maintain this loyalty? How do they make business relationships work so well, they create advocates for themselves and profitability for their clients?

Here are ten ideas that I believe make business relationships work:

1) Both the supplier and the customer share common ideas, philosophies and business values. This creates a clear picture for both of them to paint and add colour to.

2) The customer views the supplier as a valued, trusted advisor and a strategic partner. This means the client sees you, not as a vendor of products but as a supplier of value.

3) Both parties see each other as contributing to each other’s success. There isn’t an ‘us and them’ mentality – they both thrive as business increases.

4) The client sees the supplier as an additional spoke in their business wheel. At no time is contact between them seen as an inconvenience.

5) The supplier asks the power questions that are needed for the client to think about their future business. Making the client concentrate on the future roles you are going to play in their business keeps the focus on value, not cost.

6) Both parties focus on positive results and establish measurements to ensure the route is clear. This means there is no focus on blame or lack of achievement – both realise the emphasis should be on outcomes and results, not blame.

7) The supplier keeps to the SLA at all times. Keeping commitments builds trust and this will lay the firm foundations for honesty and confidence in the future.

8 ) You prove yourself likeable, building confidence and belief as time goes on. This way, you recognise you are dealing with human beings and not automatons.

9) Both parties are willing to try new ideas and be creative. Everyone in the business relationship recognises there are more opportunities when you think out the box, so they share new ideas and concepts

10) You create value continuously, in the ways that the client can measure it. This means the emphasis is never on cost but always on how the client can increase their productivity, profits, promotions or products.

These aren’t the only ones, of course, but they give you a good idea of what the top quality salespeople work on continuously to create top value in their business relationships.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

(Image by Adam R at

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Sean McPheat

Hi! I'm the founder and Managing Director of MTD Sales Training - we offer sales training solutions for companies both large and small. I'm blessed to work with 25 of the most talented trainers in the UK....well, I did recruit them! 😉 Today, we've delivered training in over 23 countries to over 3,500 different organisations and 100,000 staff. Our clients include Xerox, Friends Provident, Starbucks, Taylor Wimpey, CISCO, Allianz and Lloyds TSB to name but a few.

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2 thoughts on “10 Ideas That Make Business Relationships Work”

  1. Reading this post I realized that many things you´ve mentioned boil down to one thing: people skills.

    Only if a salesperson – or for that matter anyone in business relations – is socially competent and able to see the other party as a contributor to each other’s success he/she will create sustainable relations.

    Lyn Egen

    1. Absolutely right, Lyn. Social intelligence is sadly lacking in many salespeople, and, even more sadly, many of them don’t recognise it, ending up blaming their clients, products, company, the economy, and everything else except themselves.
      Thanks for the comment, and best regards.

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