Relationship Basics… Part I


Here are the first two sets of numbers I measure when evaluating the health of business relationships:

1) How much of the current year’s business is
repeat business?

2) How much of the current year’s business is referral business?

The reason is simple… both of these metrics are good indicators of the ability to build and maintain relationships, which in turn is a good indicator of the level of leadership in an organization.

We don’t have to look far in today’s economic environment to understand that a business will prosper or fail in proportion to their level (or lack) of leadership.

I once read some ancient words of wisdom for the secret of a very long life… “it’s easy, just keep breathing for a very long time.”

The secret to developing excellent long term business relationships is pretty much the same… it’s easy, as long as you have the ability to foster excellent relationships over the long term.

And that requires leadership.


The truth is, relationships naturally develop between people who share common experiences, missions, beliefs, and priorities. These characteristics form our core values, and we attract… and are attracted by… others with whom we have singleness of purpose.

This is true for business and personal relationships; without shared values, long term success in any relationship is unlikely. And back to our metrics, repeat and referral business is only possible in relationships that last long enough to generate them.

As a small business owner, you are the brand. It’s your company, therefore it’s your values that will determine your ideal relationships… both with the clients you seek… and the employees you hire.

So where do we start?

May I suggest that if you haven’t already done so, put together a Values Inventory. On the deepest, most honest level… identify those traits and characteristics that are most important to you…
then write them down.

This isn’t up for a vote nor will it be swayed by public opinion. This is about you, and the drivers that will expand your influence and positively impact as many others as possible.


I look forward to hearing from you.



Repeat and referral business is an indicator of healthy relationship skills.

Successful long term relationships are fueled by common purposes.

Relationships, not transactions, are the key to a satisfying and meaningful life.


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