Yes, do sweat the small stuff

Five years of my career were spent in high-level relationship building (mostly at the C-Suite level), and one of the biggest things about relationship building I learned was that it is not about the big stuff.  Grand gestures are nice, but being there day in and day out is really what a business relationship is all about (I am sure devotees of romantic relationship self-help would agree with me here).  Part of this is because opportunities for making a grand gesture naturally are somewhat rare, but it is also because trust and understanding are qualities that are built over time, not made in a flash.

Relationship building is also not just about serving the client.  Other vendors, nonclients, and even honorable competitors are valuable sources of relationships, because all of these people have the potential to influence those who may become your clients.  A good word from an influencer can go a long way toward swaying a potential client’s decision-making process.

My brother Brian knows a lot about this: he’s a professional wedding photographer who also owns a wedding photo editing service.  Here, he explains how and why his editing service can help wedding photographers build relationships with their fellow vendors:

EditTeam: building vendor relationships, one wedding at a time from Edit Team on Vimeo.

Smart guy, my brother.

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