Building Business Relationships

Are you struggling to create and keep profitable customers? Columns for Sales and Marketing Management who wants to build business relationships.
Thursday, September 11, 2003

Established communities are largely self sustaining and self managing

Over time most members develop an understanding of community norms and what constitutes acceptable behavior. These norms reduce the need for a community to police itself or reduces the number of actions taken against unacceptable behavior. However, in the beginning most communities don't have this informal management.

It may be necessary establish a core of members who define good practice and mentor new members.  These individuals serve as moderators for group activities, guides, or even teachers of certain practices to develop the group overtime. If possible seek volunteers who strongly support the community objectives, but often paid staff will be necessary.

Special membership requirements or dues reduces disruptions among members, also clearly defined community objectives help greatly. Members will come to respect the interactions between members and work in the benefit of the whole because subconsciously they don't want to impose on others.

Justin Hitt teaches executives strategies to improve business relationships that can increase revenues while reducing costs of service. Publisher of Inside Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly newsletter.

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There is no such thing as an on-line community

Communities are improved by multiple channels of communications.  Being "on-line" is just one way to connect with members (or between members)-- but to say "on-line community" is as ridiculous as saying "telephone community".

For a constructive community to prosper members must be able to experience it in what ever way is convenient to them. This may include print journals, on-line collaboration, telephone conferences, or even networking events. The easier you make it for members to connect, the more value they place on their relationship with the group.

If you focus on a single medium your community is likely to stagnate and weaken over time.

Justin Hitt helps executives build profitable relationships with customer, employees, and strategic partners. He can be reached by phone at +1 (877) 207-3798 or on-line at

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Last update: 04/08/2004; 2:35:11 PM.

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