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Conveying The Meaning Of Relationships In Business

I frequently see marketing materials and news releases boasting about the stronger relationships gained by using product A or method B-- most of these materials are unclear about what exactly that means.

While it is fine to use the "relationship" word in your marketing materials, but define for your audience what it means to the reader. When I tell you I can help executives build stronger business relationships, what is it that I really mean?

Stronger relationships mean less friction in the decision making process-- not blind acceptance, but a system that is conducive to accomplishing common objectives.

If you want stronger customer relationships, then what exactly does that mean to your company? Using vague and general statements are useless if you expect results. Here are some examples of statements that might describe a customer relationship:

Instead of the generic stronger customer relationship, you should describe the specific desired result of such state-- include both points of measure and a period for reevaluation. The period can be implied.

Your statements will be more specific for internal measures, less specific for customer communications.

In marketing copy it is better to say, "Product X will reduce customer turnover, increase repurchase, and lower acquisition costs" than "Product X improves customer relationships." Relationships are measured by specific results produced.

Often relationships are described in slogans or mission statements-- while it is reasonable, this is only acceptable if the rest of your communications share specifically what this means. For example, to customers of the "Center for Strategic Relations", helping executives build stronger business relationships is described as:

More quantifiable statements are used to describe internal objectives. These objectives are achieved by customer realizing the external statements above. Internally to the consultants and staff of the Center this same message means:

The external and internal messages are only possible through executives with strong business relationships, but with specific statements the abstract concept of relationship is understood. (At least more clearly presented.)

Before you describe the relationship value of your business to another, or internally that value to employees, think about the results produced. Relationship is a vague and often overused term that means different things in both context and audience. If you use a results oriented language you'll convey a message with specifics for action.

/ apply-strategy | clearly-communicate /

By Justin Hitt at October 7, 2003 2:06 PM  Subscribe in a reader


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