6 Tips for Developing and Maintaining Reciprocal Relationships

Re·cip·ro·cal : Used to describe a relationship in which two people or groups agree to do something similar for each other. Given or felt by each toward the other; mutual.

Reciprocal relationships in business are important and go a long way in determining the success for businesses.  Having these relationships can take some time to form, but in the long run will pay many dividends.

How can we build and maintain these relationships?  Let’s take a look.

Be genuine: The idea of reciprocity is that if you give someone something, you get something in return.  Simple.  However, if you are offering something for the sole purpose of getting something back, that is where things can derail.  Demonstrate that you are genuine in what you offer and want the best for the other party.

Build trust: This is a big one.  Without trust there is not going to be much of a relationship.  This is true in all parts of life.  The first idea of being genuine will help with this.  People need to know that you have their best interest in mind and want them to be successful.

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A good fit: Look for people/businesses that will complement your business.  For those of us in the building industry, there are many ways this can be demonstrated.  For example, you are a professional engineer that runs a small design office.  You can develop relationships with builders and developers that may not have a full-time engineer on staff for their design work.  Both parties benefit from the relationship.

Benefit: You need to demonstrate how this relationship will be a benefit to the other party.  Will it make them profitable, more efficient, and more productive?  In this competitive market, any advantage that can be attained through a reciprocal relationship may in some cases be the key to success or failure.

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Start small:  As previously mentioned, these relationships can take time to develop.  Start with smaller tasks/projects to demonstrate how the relationship can be beneficial without jumping into a large project with a greater potential for things to go wrong and, thereby, getting things off to a rocky start.

Keep in touch: Staying connected with people is the key.  Don’t get in touch with people only when you need something.  Try to maintain regular contact to keep the lines of communication open and make sure the other party feels that you are interested in what and how they are doing.  Connecting on a more personal level helps to strengthen the relationship and provide a foundation to build on for the long-term.

At Gould Design, Inc., we are always looking for these type relationships and want our clients and partners to be successful. We strive to be the best we can be and “design to your needs…..one project at a time.”

Let us know your thoughts on this topic and how reciprocal relationships have been beneficial to you.

Bill Hoover – Design Professional

Gould Design, Inc.