The Art of Maintaining Lasting Business Relationships

There’s an ancient adage that says, ‘All good things take time. While this is true for most relationships, it is even more so for business relationships. It takes years of experiential learning to understand that relationships often require attention, care, and a great deal of practice. In fact, a study by Forbes revealed that 84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue. Over the past year, however, we’ve witnessed a rapid change in the industry landscape owing to the pandemic. For most companies, the light at the end of the tunnel was their true-blue clientele and loyal customer base. So how do we go about cultivating such long-term alliances?

  1. Know thy customer

The first step in this process is to know thy customer. Rich or poor, big or small, the business you cater to will be versatile and complex. Build a mental map of your customer’s every business vertical — the more you know about them and their company, the better you understand their needs. And once you attach a unique value proposition to those needs, you’ve won a client for life.

2. Put your ego aside

We can all admit it — our ego has gotten in the way of things before. Business or not, when it comes to building lasting relationships, the art of effective communication is often lacking amongst human beings. Smaller companies tend to be more optimistic about their business endeavors and expect results after the first meeting itself. But building trust is a tough row to hoe, and that’s okay! Take your time, put your ego aside, and start from the bottom up.

3. Learn from your mistakes

Ever had a falling out with your client? Or said something that set off an unfortunate sequence of events? Don’t worry, most of us have been there. Remember that the past is the best teacher — in order to effectively communicate with your clients, you need to unlearn your mistakes. Lapses in judgment are not uncommon, and over time, experience teaches you to chin up and move on.

4. Trust the process

Undoubtedly, trusting the process is the most important lesson here. Professional relationships may have changed several faces over the years, but the crux of it has remained the same: building trust. This begs the question: “How does one build trust?” The answer lies in the question itself. It involves laying the foundation of mutual understanding, framing a structure of communication, and adding the finishing touches of stability and support.

ProposalHelper is the largest employee-only bid and proposal management company supporting government contractors in the United States. ProposalHelper helps companies within the United States and abroad enter, expand, and grow their business in the public and commercial sectors across almost every industry vertical. Visit us at or today.