The Importance of Building Relationships in Business

Jeff Cochran


If you have spent more than a few weeks in sales, then you have hopefully learned two valuable lessons about business relationships and networking:

1. There’s no correlation between your sales figures and the number of business cards you hand out.
2. Similarly, there’s no connection between your sales figures and the number of contacts on your LinkedIn profile.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with business cards or LinkedIn. Both can be great tools to help you expand your professional network. However, building better relationships in business is all about cultivation.

While training and consulting sales teams and executive leaders, it’s all too often that we run into business professionals who put a focus on contacts, not on relationships. Truly successful businesspeople don’t have a mountain of contacts whose names they barely know. Rather, they have a carefully developed and cultivated portfolio of relationships.

How to Develop Better Relationships


Are you interested in developing better business relationships?

  • Listen to people and probe them with questions.Don’t do all of the talking, and definitely don’t tune out the person who’s talking to you.
  • Be honest and forthright with new contacts. Don’t misrepresent yourself or your business just to make a new contact. Relationships built on lies go nowhere – fast!
  • Give more than you receive. Business relationships aren’t a 50/50 deal. Each party should be willing to give more in order to hit the payoff.
  • Be personal in your business relationships. Sure, ultimately you’re trying to make the sale. But people are people – even in business (or especially in business).

Why Build These Relationships?

No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll probably find this maxim to be true: People want to do business with the people they like and know. It’s a basic fact of life. An unknown company’s small discount or slightly better product is rarely going to take a client away from you if you have a strong business relationship with your client.

Also, good business relationships make for a richer, more enjoyable career for you and the people on your team.

So what are you waiting for? What will you do to build better business relationships?

Ways to Measure Training Success

Jeff Cochran


Training your team to be the best they can be is neither cheap nor easy. However, the ROI of a successful training program makes it all worth it in the end. In fact, with the proper training methods and materials, your company’s employees can give your bottom line a tremendous boost.

But once the work of training is done, how can you measure its success? Business training pioneer Donald Kirkpatrick was famous for being one of the first people to critically evaluate the success of training programs.

Kirkpatrick developed a four-step model that everyone in the training industry knows. The basic Kirkpatrick evaluation method asks four things:

1. What was the participant’s reaction to the training?This is often judged on a scale of 1-10 by asking the participant about impressions and general feelings about the training program.

2. What did the participant learn? This can be measured through evaluation tests.

3. How did the participant transfer learning back to the workplace? This can be more difficult to determine, but is analyzed with further surveys and observation.

4. What overall results did the training have on the business? Again, measuring the direct ROI of the training in terms of sales, revenues, and customer satisfaction can be challenging. However, through formulas and analytical models, fairly accurate dollar amount values can be applied to individuals’ training experiences.


Measuring Your Company’s Training Success

You can measure the success of a training program within your company yourself or with the help of a professional training firm. Depending on the complexity of the training program and the scale on which it’s implemented, you might choose to do it yourself or hire an outside performance improvement firm.

Have more questions about how to evaluate training success in your company? Leave them in the comments section where we see them and respond.