Get Personal! How Relationships Build Business

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    Business consultants agree: When the economy is down, business managers and owners should return to the basics of their business plan and make sure every base is covered. “No matter the business, management needs to return to the four core functions,” says Jim Hovey, a consultant with the J.P. Hovey Group in Midland, Mich. “If the core functions are not in alignment, especially now, the business will be in trouble.

    Somewhere among those four core functions (marketing, finance, operations, and management) falls a sub-category of building personal relationships. Managers beware, however, if this is treated as a way to do marketing, it will most likely fail. Silvia Pendleton is the director of marketing and membership for the Texas Self-Storage Association in Round Rock, Texas and also a co-owner of Stor-Mor in Grandbury, Texas. She knows that building personal relationships is not about marketing first, with getting to know people and making friends as a benefit. It is the other way around.

    “When we joined the chamber, it wasn’t necessarily to ask for business. We wanted to introduce ourselves and get to know other people in the community,” says Pendleton. “People do tend to do business with people they know, but it may not happen immediately. It’s about creating a trust and a relationship.”

    Like many other businesses, Pendleton has found that networking with the chamber has paid off in numerous ways by building a name for itself in the community, as well as direct referrals for business.

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