As service business leaders, we often focus blindly on the results — key performance indicators, sales targets and other specific goals. But when it comes to success in any industry, relationships are often much more important than simply reaching a result-based goal. This is especially true for plumbing contractors who need trust and cooperation from our manufacturers, distributors, clients and other partners to succeed call after call, day after day. Relationships ultimately give our businesses longevity, meaning you'll be able to sustain your successes over time, whereas chasing after short-term results will leave behind less sustainable gains. Let's dig deeper into why relationships play such an essential role in leading a successful short-term or long-term company within the plumbing industry specifically.

Why relationships are crucial in business

In the business world, trust and authenticity are the building blocks to foster meaningful relationships. Relationships should not be underestimated as they are crucial for any business to maintain success. Don't get me wrong, results do matter (and they matter a lot) but trust in a relationship is what makes it so valuable and lasting. By focusing on trust and authenticity rather than only KPIs, you can form strong and healthy relationships to help accomplish more difficult tasks that would otherwise be out of reach. Good relationships not only magnify the results but also advances innovation and creativity from both sides, which is invaluable in today's competitive markets.

The detrimental effects of focusing solely on results

Focusing solely on results can have massive negative ramifications for businesses and for the people involved. Team members end up feeling like a number in a corporate system (which we are witnessing in some instances more than ever now) without their individual skills and talents being appreciated and valued. This negative mindset leads to team members feeling that they are interchangeable and that their employer doesn't really care about them. It is important to remember that relationships matter so much more than just results. With good trust built between leaders and the front-line team, amazing goals can be achieved.

Tips for building better relationships with your team

Building better relationships with your team starts by having a team member atmosphere filled with trust and teamwork. Developing trust in each other encourages team members to express their opinions and beliefs while allowing team members to take ownership of projects. It's important to create an environment filled with respect, which can be achieved by providing team members with recognition when deserved. Furthermore, team culture should emphasize taking the initiative and finding creative solutions. By creating a focus on human relationships rather than only stats and data, companies can reach their highest potential while building a team that works together in harmony. Harmony in a company culture creates magic within the team!

The benefits of fostering trust between your team and your clients

Investing in creating trusting relationships with your team and clients is the key to sales success and sustainability. Companies that are able to foster trust between their team and their clients often become market leaders, as they are trusted experts in their industry. Having this trust encourages repeat sales from existing clients, word-of-mouth sales from happy clients, and more sales opportunities in the future. A great advantage of strong client relationships is also having an edge over competitors who lack these bonds with their buyers. Think about your service agreement program. Is it just for a discount, or are you building long-term client relationships for your team members? Invest in building stronger win-win relationships today!

Examples of how strong relationships have yielded positive results for businesses

Many businesses overlook the importance of strong relationships in achieving profitable results. However, not only are people not robots — humans build connections to increase motivation and loyalty — but these days, not investing in establishing a rapport with team members can mean missing valuable opportunities that would not be attainable without strong connections. For example, proactive measures such as investing time in recruiting and retaining talented individuals are more crucial than ever. Also, focused effort in making sure team members feel valued and supported during these tech/sales-driven times pays dividends in team retention. It may not be the easiest, and it's definitely not the most common approach, but developing warm and trusting relationships is worth it when it comes to achieving successful business outcomes. And let's be clear, it's a heck of a lot more enjoyable!

Think about your service agreement program. Is it just for a discount, or are you building long-term client relationships for your team members? Invest in building stronger win-win relationships today!

How to create an environment where relationships are valued more than results

To create an environment where relationships are valued more than results, honest and open conversations must be encouraged to cultivate trust. This involves having the integrity to admit mistakes while opening up in a vulnerable manner to learn from them, as well as ensuring all communication is honest and consistent. By embracing transparency with everyone in the company as well as clients, you can build authentic relationships that lead to greater understanding, collaboration, and innovation. When everyone feels safe to be their true selves, real results can be achieved that benefit both the company and its people.

As the old saying goes, it is the journey that matters, not the destination; similarly, relationships are what matter most in business. Strong relationships between colleagues and with clients will give you a better chance of achieving your goals and desires. It doesn't matter if it takes longer to build trust-based relationships as long as it results in increased efficiency because, at the end of the day, people are more important than any numbers on a page. Building strong relationships requires constant work and effort but is absolutely worth it – something only possible when we understand why relationships matter more than results in business. So whatever you're doing, wherever you are on your professional journey, remember this: enjoy the process! Take time to foster trustful and meaningful exchanges with your team and clients — focus on building connections before chasing after results. When your organization gets everyone going in the same direction, you'll be amazed at what can be achieved.