5 Mistakes to Avoid When You Build Long Term Business Relationships

If you want success as an entrepreneur, you have to build long term business relationships!

Any business owner can build relationships – even an introvert. The key to any relationship is to build trust and mutual respect. You have to have both to make the relationship work.

For example, perhaps you’re working with a partner on a project because you know she has the expertise, reputation and system that work for you and your business. But if she doesn’t follow through on deadlines, you might respect her, but you don’t necessarily trust her.

So before you start building a relationship with your customers, vendors and partners, take a moment to consider some rules to adhere to.

The 5 Business Relationship Mistakes You Should Avoid

We’ve discovered at least 5 mistakes that many entrepreneurs make. We believe you should avoid these mistakes so you can build relationships that will bring rewards.

1. Making Assumptions

You’ve heard the clichés before:

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
“Don’t get too excited. You’ll be disappointed.”
“First impressions are generally correct.”

We use these phrases as bits of truth to guide our decisions to protect us in those situations that breach our comfort zone. Sure, if you assume someone is out to get you, you’re not surprised if they do “get you.”

The problem is that making an assumption is one of the fastest ways to ruin a relationship. It confirms you don’t respect them. It keeps them at arm’s reach and instills a sense of your superiority.

This is no way to build a mutually beneficial relationship.

The goal is trust and respect – not suspicion.

2. An Attitude of Giving and Let Give

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the view that anything goes in the relationship. In other words, the other party can write their own ticket.

This may work well when you’re trying to find highly motivated people. But not everyone responds well to this philosophy.

For instance, we hired a project manager to run the numerous MyNAMS projects. We were very ecstatic to have her come on board. She had all the skills we were looking for. She seemed a good fit for the team.

Basically, she could take on the responsibilities of the position and work in the way that worked best for her as long as she still met the company’s goals.

She was excited. We were excited.

It all backfired.

Two weeks after starting, she quit. She was just overwhelmed.

The lesson – not everyone can handle that much freedom.

3. Thinking Relationships are an 80-20 Proposition

Any relationship is give and take. When one party takes more than gives, resentment can creep in.

My dad said, “Relationships are an 80-20 proposition and both parties give 80.”

He was talking about marriage, but it fits in the business realm, too.

So, how can both parties give 80%?

Well, they can’t – BUT they can definitely try!

The way to do this is to ask, how can I help today?

When you’re in a business relationship, make sure the other party is receiving more from the relationship. If they do the same, then you’re in an 80/80 relationship.

As a consultant, I did this, and the results were 17 years of consulting contracts. They loved the value I brought to them. My family and I loved the reward of the contracts.

4. Not Learning from Your Mistakes

I live by a radical saying: “If I’m not the problem, there is no solution.”

And this applies to those times when you have been taken advantage of. The only person you have to blame…is you.

When you’re wronged, you have two options:

Expend a ton of energy when you: Get angry. Call your attorney. Sue the person.


Take a look in the mirror. Own up to your part in the problem. Learn from it. Determine not to make the same mistake again.

It’s simple really.

You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself.

So learn from the event and move on with your life. You’ll be much happier.

5. Failing to Expect Long-Term Relationships

Let me put it succinctly: short-term relationships cost time and money. Not to mention – they are frustrating.

Instead, treat each project (or every hire) as an opportunity to build a long-term relationship.

Avoid the mentality that supports hiring for a particular task and only that task. If you want to work this way, beware of the consequences:

  • It hinders your reputation. You’ll never get the benefit of the doubt from a vendor or partner when you jump from one relationship to another.
  • Your business will suffer. You lose consistency and continuity when you’re looking to fill a short-term need on a regular basis. Your company will appear confused.

When you enter a conversation that could result in a relationship, begin your chat with “I’m looking for long-term relationships…”

And mean it.

As I stated before, building business relationships is critical to your business success. Avoid these mistakes…and the sky’s the limit.

Looking for more tools and training to help you build healthy relationships?

Check out the MyNAMS Insiders Club for only $1! Get the Team, Training, and Tools you need to succeed with your online business.

About David Perdew

David Perdew, CEO and founder of NAMS - the Novice to Advanced Marketing System. He’s a journalist, consultant and serial entrepreneur who has built one of the most successful and fastest growing business training systems online today called the MyNAMS Insiders Club.

The Novice to Advanced Marketing System is a step-by-step system focusing on Team, Training and Tools to help novice to advanced business people build a Simple, Scalable and Sustainable business.

He took a year off in 2003 to personally build a 2200 square foot log cabin in north Alabama where he and his wife and two dogs and a cat live on 95 acres of forest with four streams and 60-foot waterfall.

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