Ethics of Profit in Business Relationships

From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

  1. Forward
  2. In the News
    1. Checklist for Focusing On Sustainable Profits in Business Relationships
    2. Discontinuing the Market Research Notification List
    3. May I ask a favor? Seeking your opinions
  3. Book Review
    Shel Horowitz?s Principled Profits: Marketing That Puts People First
  4. Shameless Self Promotion


New rules, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, force businesses to monitor their every move. With similar laws proposed in European and Asian countries, what are are smart executives going to do? May I suggest teaching your people strategies that build sincere relationships; can we protect our interests from the bottom up?

In this issue learn the six questions you have not asked about sustainable profits in business relationships, discover three tactics to turn competitors into powerful allies, and explore a resources that makes ethical relationships more possible.

Welcome new subscribers and thank all for the feedback that helps me focus on your challenges. When I can provide what you want, we both benefit. If there is anything I can do for you, please write.


Justin Hitt
Strategic Relations Consultant, Author & Speaker

In the News

Checklist for Focusing On Sustainable Profits in Business Relationships

The pursuit of short-term financial gain gets more companies in trouble than anything in business. These gains also violate the trust and responsibility you have to your customers. If you want sustainable profits, you must provide what your customer wants at a low enough cost to generate a profit.

Audit your performance with this checklist for focusing on sustainable profits in business relationships:

  1. Do you provide a consistent quality of product in a cost effective manner? Your customer expects a certain level of quality, and how you regularly deliver reflects on the stability of your company. Often quality can be improved, however, the improvement of quality should not take your product out of the price range your customer expects to pay.
  2. What measurements rank the effectiveness of your distribution channels? Some methods of delivery are more cost effective than others are, some allow for a greater perceived value, and others support customers� specific requirements. Look at how your customer acquires your goods as it relates to profitability.
  3. Are your partners contributing to your bottom line? The organizations you collaborate with either help you reach more customers or reduce your costs. Often-strategic partners provide long-term benefits that defy short-term measures, consider this when evaluating this relationship.
  4. Do you guarantee what you do or are you just limiting your liability? Often the only assurance a company provides for their product, is the claims they make in advertising. Look for ways to improve what you are offering to eliminate a customer�s risk, and then guarantee results. Even refund a customers money if they are not completely satisfied.
  5. How do you instill in employees the importance of each customer interaction? The bottom line of business relationships is the customer interaction point induces a customer to make a purchase. Without a financial transaction to support your organizations bottom line, you are not really in business of making money.
  6. Do you view customer relationships as an integral part of your ecosystem? Your customers make up one part of your business ecosystem including industry, employee, and partner influences. Customers feed these interactions and balance competitive measures; you must reward good relationships whenever possible.

The greater long-term value you can demonstrate to your customers, the more frequently they will purchase what you offer. If you do these things, you will set your company apart from the competition (even with commodity products.) Work though this checklist today.

© 2003 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
/ profitable-customers | cultivate-topten /

Justin Hitt provides executives with actionable strategies to improve profits while strengthening business relationships. For training materials and other resources visit

Inside Strategic Relations

May I ask a favor? Seeking your opinions

You may be one of the many subscribers who have been a part of this newsletter for years. Even if this were your first issue, would you consider sharing your opinions of what you have gained from this publication?

Comments from you and other readers are incorporated into the editorial calendar, and marketing materials for this newsletter. I am very interested in hearing what you like, what could be improved, and what you might say to others who should read these issues.

Your comments will contribute to the value I am able to provide, even shape the content to focus on the issues your company faces. (Besides, I really enjoy all the great feedback I have received over the years. It make the hours put into each issue worthwhile.)

Reply with your comments or write feedback-newsletter -- I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Book Review

Review: Shel Horowitz's Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

Yes, you can create profits in an ethical customer-oriented manner without the risks highlighted in the Enron-Worldcom-Anderson scandals. As the title suggests Shel Horowitz brings us a practical marketing and sales strategies that are people oriented, truthful, respectful, and in each customers best interest.

An authoritative list of contributors made this book possible. At 160 pages, the depth of content and value of information surprised me. Horowitz uses an informal but authoritative style to present tested strategies with relevant facts; organized into three parts Principled Profit addresses "The way of the Golden Rule," "The New Marketing Mindset," and "Hands-on with cooperative, people centered marketing."

The first part explains methods and principles behind Golden Rule based sales and marketing strategies. Next, he details a new marketing mindset of abundance (less emphasis on market share and fighting competitors) which is oriented around strategic collaboration in areas of customer effort. The final part of Principled Profit provides hands-on methods for acquiring buying customers who are profitable, and touches of the social context of such marketing behaviors.

Shel Horowitz earned his stripes marketing for grass-roots community organizations with zero budgets as a teenager. Now with significantly more experience he provides strategic marketing for clients in Europe, Asia, and across the United States. While this is primarily a marketing strategy book, it is appropriate for anyone responsible for bottom-line results in technology industry companies.

Principled Profit is accurate and provides real-world applications in an inspirational nature that make it enjoyable to read, even for companies deadly concerned about economic and competitive pressures. Horowitz's strategies are consistent with what I share about profitable customer, and include more examples for your marketing/sales team.

A strategy you will find especially useful works from your investment in a specific customer base, with methods for networking this resource to complementary businesses. It focuses on seven tactics to turn competitors into allies, including:

  1. Get to know others in your niche. They can help you reach customers you do not already have and can add value to your own products.
  2. Collaborate with those reaching the same audience. Even your competition interacts with customers more interested in buying from you, work together, and reduce acquisition costs.
  3. Subcontract with each other. Very big in the software engineering part of our industry, bring competitors in as partners as they enhance your value to the buyer.

The result is more value to your customer, while generating auxiliary income from individual transactions of the joint venture. Horowitz packed Principled Profit with detailed strategies and examples you can use--no filler like other books on the topic.

It was refreshing to read a book that provided cost effective methods to increase profits, but did not rely on heavy-handed cutthroat tactics found in other recent releases. (If you have read Angel Customer and Demon Customer by Larry Selden and Geoffrey Colvin--then you need to read Principled Profit for practical strategies that build business relationships instead of broker them!)

I highly recommend Shel Horowitz's Principled Profit, even if you just read it then pass it along to your sales and marketing staff. It can help your team gain positive relationships with customers that will serve your bottom line for years to come, while providing customers exactly what they want and need.

© 2003 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
/ profitable-customers | customer-relations /

This book review represents an excerpt from the Applying Strategic Relations, and provides a sample of some of the timesaving resources subscribers receive with their monthly lessons.

In addition, subscribers also receive special materials from the author and an abstract report excerpting relevant parts of the book. For more information visit

Special arrangements with the publisher provide readers with attractive discounts for quantity purchases. Interested in this book for sales or marketing training, contact me at quantity-licensing(a)

Shameless Self Promotion

Receive Hands-On Strategies That Can Boost Your Profits

Imagine the impact of knowing whom your customer are interacting with, or even how customers interacts with your product offerings. Yes, identify the triggers that make right-time marketing possible. What sales events will be identified that can increase your teams� conversion rates?

Buying customers right now are experiencing a want for your product or service, but do not know you are available to them. Their loss is your loss too. Would your sales and marketing team know the 19 interaction points relevant to your business, and how to turn those points into sales?

Activate your own efforts for improving business relationships that can bring you more revenue, while reducing your costs. Call Justin Hitt, he is available for conference calls or on-site training that will teach your team how to reach buying customers.

Representatives from your sales, marketing, and support channels will benefit from segmentation strategies, communications tools, and tested methods that can optimize systems inside your organization. Wouldn't it be great to document what you forgot you already know?

You will receive a professional recording or video tape of the event, training materials customized for your teams needs, and two follow on strategy sessions to keep your team in gear. Yes, these materials are yours to generate profits over-and-over for a maximum return-on-investment. Remember the last time your people went to training�I might be entertaining and inspirational, but I expect real results you can bank on, action is the only thing that brings results.

Write today for a team assessment to determine if this program is right for you. Call or fax your on letterhead +1 (877) 207-3798, or write seminar-program

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