Defining Relationship Development

What is the value of a great relationship? What are the basics of a relationship? How do you form one, and even more importantly, how do you keep one going? How do you repair one after you’ve botched something up?

If you have never botched a relationship, or you feel all past failed relationships were “someone else’s fault”, this series of articles is not for you. For the past 25 years my company and I have trained thousands of people on professional relationship development. The training is based on exact workable principles and techniques with proven success every time.

I personally researched to find a good definition of this term “relationship development”. Please continue to read through to the end of this article and let me know if you agree. So what does “relationship development” mean? Let’s first break down the basic words themselves:

1) A logical or natural association between two or more things; connection.
2) The way in which one person or thing is connected with another.
Derivation: Relation coming from relate, Latin relatum brought back, related, re- back + latum brought.

1) State or condition that exists between people or groups that deal with one another.

The derivation above shows where the word originated. It implies the idea of repetition or development or a connection that continues. We can conclude that to relate to someone must involve some repeated activity, connection and association seem to play a part in this.

1) A causing to grow, expand, or improve.
2) Caused change in character through successive periods; evolve.

Derivation: French deveopper unwrap.


RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPMENT: The action of causing the repetitive connection and evolution toward accomplishing the common purposes of two or more people.

This datum can be applied to friendships, family, dating, marriage, and of course business.

The point I really want to stress is “repetitive.” Example: a new client walks through the door. They take a tour of your business and you hand them an information packet describing your services. He/she says they’re interested and want to think about it and they leave.

Now the wrong thing to do…sit back and wait for them to call. If you truly want to develop the relationship, and it’s your complete intention to develop this person into a new client, you must create the “repetitive connection” to remain fresh in their mind.

Steps to develop this new client:

1. Get the contact information for anyone interested in your services. (Get their phone number, email address, mailing address, etc.)

2. Phone them; then follow that with an email or a personal letter thanking them for their interest in your company, expressing your desire to service their personal needs and thank them for calling/coming in.

3. Continue the follow-up with promotional items, letters, calls, and successes of recent clients. Keep the repetition in at least every other week, and always be polite.

4. Keep your website up-to-date with articles, blogs and free information and steer the prospective client to these in all your promotional actions. This develops trust and hope that your help would be beneficial to them.

I hope this was helpful. This is a first in a series of articles on this subject so please watch for the upcoming articles. Please feel free to write me anytime. I’d love to hear from you whether it be success, feedback or questions.