Relationships matter. What’s important, and what really matters, is not just the relationship that you have today – but how you maintain it, even when it’s run its course. All relationships, both business and personal, shouldn’t be transactional.

Keep reading to learn why it’s important to build and maintain meaningful relationships with everyone around you – and tips on how it’ll help you be successful.

 1. Keep Your Relationships Strong

You’ll definitely be grateful that the relationships in your life are still strong, even from the past. We constantly run into situations where you’ll need to reach out to old relationships with people that you’ve worked with in the past, even many years.

If you leave these relationships on positive and strong note, with a growth mentality, every single person you talk to will be excited to hear from you – even though you may not have done anything together in years.

2. Be Respectful: Don’t Treat People Like They’re Transactions

You can’t treat people like their transactions. If you do, you’re missing the greatest thing that other people have to offer, including:

  • Their strengths
  • Their connections
  • Their ability to help us get something that we can’t get for ourselves

Whether you’re working with someone on a business related or personal matter, it’s important to treat everyone with respect.

Imagine someone does some work at your house, and they do a phenomenal job. You can help them get work by referring your neighbors, and you can go above and beyond to be respectful. They’ll always remember how great you were for not only helping them get work, but for appreciating the job that they did for you.

When the time comes and you need their help again – even years down the line – chances are, you can call them for help. They’ll help you – because they never forgot how you treated them.

So, the next time someone does something for you, and they get it done, make sure you say thank you. They’ll never forget that when they finished the job, it wasn’t a transaction.

3. Communicate

Every time you talk to someone is an opportunity to learn a little bit more about their life:

  • Where are they living?
  • Who are they with?
  • What company do they work for?
  • What companies might be working for them?
  • What has their business grown to?
  • How might we be able to help each other?

In the business world, you’ll meet a lot of people that just look at you as a business transaction. They think you can help them get somewhere in their career, or you want to get to know them because they can help you get somewhere – but those relationships always die.

All these things are so much more valuable than the transaction. Communication is key to building healthy relationships, and when you build a foundation with someone you create a meaningful relationship.

5. Create Transactions Beyond the Transaction

I see a lot of transactional relationships, and I’m really not a fan. If you’re only using someone because you want to learn something about what they have to offer you, they can see and feel it, and probably can’t stand it.

For example, I don’t mind talking about anything financial with anybody, but it’s a real problem if that’s all they want to talk about with me and I’m not their financial advisor. The goal is to create a lasting relationship, not a transaction. Find out more about the people we interact with, as individuals – what’s important to them?

 The reality is, having all these relationships creates opportunities that allow us to help ourselves and others in the future – in a way that we otherwise couldn’t.

 The people that painted my house have done it maybe five different times, in different rooms – and I keep going back to the same people, because I’ve built a relationship with them. When I call them, they know I treat them with respect, I know that that they’re going to do a good job, and I’m going to tell everyone about it. It’s a transaction that’s well beyond the transaction; it’s a relationship, and it’s great.

6. Create Building Blocks for a Future Relationship

Every time we have contact with another person, we begin to form a relationship with them. But, how we conduct that conversation will determine whether or not we will have a relationship in the future.

This always reminds me of a situation that I had recently, when I got completely locked out of my technology at work. The technology representative I spoke with got me back online – and right when we were done, the phone got disconnected.

I didn’t want him to think that I hung up, and that I was treating him like a transaction – so I found his name, and sent him private message saying “Hey, just wanted to let you know that I accidentally hung up on you – I can’t thank you enough for your help and for everything you did. Sorry that I hung up by accident – but I really hope we get you another time, because you were awesome. Thank you so much for your help!”.

I don’t know if it matters to him or not. It might not – but the fact that I left that small transaction in a negative way could have prevented a future relationship. Now, if I call again, he will remember that I treated him with respect – and will be more likely to help in the future. On the other hand, if I had just left it at that, he would have either not remembered me at all or remembered that I had hung up on him, and nothing more.

4. Use Your Relationships to Make the World Around You Better

When you’re connecting with people on a different level and building meaningful relationships with them, it creates a chain reaction. Your meaningful relationships can in turn change the community and build the world around you to be a better place.

For example, telling everyone how great the work was with a person or business goes so much further than that. So many of these relationships you made years ago can really, really matter. We’re constantly being put in a situation where we can refer people to others.

I was recently in such a situation, where a client of mine needed help with a few financial related matters. I was able to say “I know this person, I’ll just call them” or “I’ll touch base by sending this person a text, maybe they have something to add”. Every single person we talked to built off the last person.

We were trying to accomplish a transaction, but nothing about it was transactional. It’s safe to say that these small interactions have created a chain reaction of connection for others – and will be able to help others with things they might need in the future.

The Bottom Line

Try to be cognizant and more aware of even the smallest interactions and transactions we have. The more we can be in tune with those little moments that were given, the more thankful we will be for the people that we have these relationships with.

So if you’re one of my many relationships, you follow me on social media, you’re a friend, or a family member, I’m very grateful and very thankful that our relationships are still intact. If we need each other, you can call me and I can call you.

It’s a small thing to do, really. Build those relationships, remember to treat everyone with respect, and make the world around us a better place by being able to help others with your meaningful relationships.

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