Content Versus Relationships

Recently I had to “agree to disagree” with a business colleague.  We were at an impasse over the subject of business versus business relationships.  Her view is business is enough.  You provide the right content and a person will always buy your product.   My view is it’s about the relationship as well.  You have to have the outstanding product, but people still choose to do business with people.  Developing personal relationships is the center of a successful business.

This conversation has stuck in my mind for several weeks now. Not only because I find her view goes completely against the grain of my southern manners, but because I have continued to see how much relationships make a difference in daily business.

Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

I have a client who has been in my life for many years. He has decided to retire. He made this decision a year ago and gave everyone plenty of time to adjust to his absence. But, time flew way too fast for us and now the time has come.

I sent him an email that was bitter sweet. I told him I was happy for him and that he deserved to enjoy his new RV and riding the roads with his wife. I also told him that I loved him a bunch. I hesitated over those last words and started to hit the delete button. Then I stopped myself. I reassured myself that he would understand my heart felt meaning.

What I didn’t expect is this return message to quickly appear: 

"Thanks Trish … you are one that has certainly helped me, way more than you know!   There’ll be no goodbyes.  I love you back!"

I’m going to admit that I teared up.  I admit it touched my heart.  I also admit that I lost the battle with my colleague who believes it’s only business and product.   But in the end it is I who am truly a winner, for I am completely privileged to have friends that I do business with.  And yes, sometimes you tell each other how much they mean to you.