Connections Vs. Relationships

Connections and Relationships. Often synonymous, though not always.

One has often heard connections being used in the business sense while relationships is a more of a personal term. The team sat down to think about connections and relationships, their impact on how we function in the business world – especially in the sales and business development environment.

A connection is often an individual we have met a handful of times (even less, thanks to LinkedIn) and potentially do not know much beyond their name, designation and company. Connections are opportunistic in nature, when two people quickly determine that “staying in touch” will prove to be beneficial to each other’s corporate lives. Communication is rare and seldom outside the realm of quick favors and questions, ideal for the one-off sale or meeting. I must clarify though, there are exceptions.

Relationships. Far more beneficial and definitely far more sustainable. Favors and questions are met with detailed feedback and thoughts – more valuable than hasty responses and decisions. Relationships provide you with insight that a connection may not be able, or willing, to provide. There is a trust to these relationships that change the dynamic of a conversation that lowers skepticism and allows for a sincere conversation about a potential mutual benefit, or not, earlier.

One may argue that connections over time convert into relationships. Very true and very correct, relationships usually start as connections. One should also not overlook the significant time and energy investment needed to successfully make the conversion.

In the fast paced nature of the business world today, what if you don’t have the luxury of time? What if your sales team has the right connections but not the right relationships? How do you circumvent a lengthy sales process? What do you do to grow revenues and add customers without increasing costs?

Fulton Waters is a network of professionals who each have 15+ years of industry specific relationships in the Fortune 1000.  When we find amazing innovative, companies, we leverage these relationships to help them realize their growth potential.

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