I read a great quote the other day that said "No one can copy your relationship with your customer. They can have all the competitive intelligence that is available, but no one can copy that relationship." I would further expand this to cover your partnerships and other business relationships.
I was reminded of this first hand at a recent event we hosted for our clients, partners, and friends of Grasp. Every year, there is a very large global conference that we participate in. But instead of doing what everyone else does, in just getting a booth at the trade show, we actually invest heavily into creating the most unique experience and enjoyable time that we can give to everyone. We have become known for it over the years to where people reach out to be "the first" on the list to attend each year.
At this particular event, we rented out a 1920's hidden speakeasy that only seats 40 people at a time for the evening. We had done this once before at the same venue years ago and it was a big hit. But, this time it felt different - in a good way. I was truly amazed at all of the prominent people in the industry that sought us out and made us a priority. One major executive, a long time friend, actually left the party his company was hosting with him being one of the main hosts, and made it a point to stop by because "Grasp always throws the best events and has the most iconic atmospheres." I was flattered that he chose to take the time out for us.
You cannot buy these types of relationships - they have to be built over time by being consistently genuine to who you are and how you foster those relationships.
As I thought about it further and watched the crowd that gathered with so much joy, it really dawned on me how important and powerful great relationships are...and the ROI that they mean to you as a person and your business.
It doesn't take money to create a great relationship. It takes courage. What do I mean? Well, it means that you have to have the courage to be your true self at all times. It means that you have to have the courage to truly care for people beyond business and invest in them. It takes courage to see the long game and play it as most great relationships are built over years, not days. And lastly, you have to have the courage to be honest in the relationship - even if the truth sometimes hurts. This is tough for people to do, and be, in business, as they feel they have to come off a certain way or put on a certain persona to succeed.
The truth is that you cannot build a great relationship with everyone because by nature some people are just not going to get along - no matter what they do or how much they try to fake things or kiss someone's ass. You are much better off being honest and true to who you are and investing in the relationships that you do have and continue growing them.
We had about 150 or so attend our event and as I looked around the room, those 150 people were the ones most responsible for our success at Grasp over 20+ years. Think about that, 150 people in 20 years, have made the biggest impact on the success of a multi-million dollar company. It truly is amazing what the power of a relationship can accomplish and the ROI it can bring over the years. Ask yourself, how can you better invest in your relationships because at the end of the day, they are most important asset you have.
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