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

Relationship Building Responsibilities

Last month you learned how to refresh fading products with customer directed quality. What did that lesson teach you about your customers?? How are you now using customer feedback?

In today's lesson, you'll discover key responsibilities of relationship building executives that will grow your business. Just minding one of these responsibilities can create superior results in your relationship building efforts.

What value do you receive minding all of these responsibilities?? You'll learn just that in the next lesson on getting employees involved in building customer relationships.


Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Which Of These Relationship-Building Responsibilities Get You Superior Results?

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

Do you want team support for your relationship building efforts? Besides your responsibility to society, discussed in "An Executives Responsibility To Society," a relationship building executive charges themselves with other responsibilities directly related to relationship building. Here are nine that will make relationship building easier:

  1. Lead by example without expecting one thing from the front-line and another for management.Be aware that everyone in your organization studies your actions; it's critical you be on your best behavior because everyone is waiting to follow your lead or relish in your failure. Lead by actions, not intentions, with consistency at all levels.
  2. Make ethics a culture. Put in place checks that provide fair and beneficial solutions for all customers. It should be normal to seek the win-win-win benefits of healthy business relationships, establish simple guidelines to frame each employee prospective of what the company does and doesn't do.
  3. Reward relationship builders. Provide incentive to sales and marketing that encourage long-term profitable customer relationships that grow in size over time. Know whom your profitable customers are, what makes them valuable, integrate this into your training and reward systems.
  4. Cultivate your inner circle. Surround yourself with useful people who have strong ethical standards, who enhance your ability to lead, and who provide various resources to accomplish a specific business objective. Start with a small inner circle of select connections both in and out of your business.
  5. Ask meaningful questions. Learn first about problems before presenting solutions, better yet; ask questions that help employees solve their own problems within the context of corporate objectives. Manage with a map and compass, not by the seat of your pants.
  6. Make employees responsible for success and failure. Do this by delegating both responsibility and authority with specific guidelines for reporting results. Be sure to define the successes desired, provide adequate resources, and use a monitoring system that works well with your type of business.
  7. Balance internal and external relationships. Cultivate the value of employee-to-employee relationships as much as company-to-customer relationships. The quality of the relationship you have with employees reflects on the quality of their relationship with customers. This is especially important to remember in interdepartmental relationships.
  8. Communicate with your inner team. Cultivate strong leadership opportunities by being clear about acceptable behavior, desired results, and your management's role in the mutual gain of reaching these points. Encourage bidirectional dialog on relevant topics pertaining to reaching business objectives, welcome contrary opinions, and take time to listen.
  9. Invite feedback, new ideas, and collect details to improve business. If you could do it alone, you wouldn't have employees, partners, or others who help move you towards your objectives. Encourage new ideas from all levels of your organization in a paced forward thinking manner.

Cultivating business relationships is hard work, but the rewards include lasting growth at lower costs. Fortunately, many of these responsibilities are also qualities of a good leader. Which of these points will help you create superior results in your every day working life?

© 2005-2008 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
/ customer-relations | management-strategy /

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