Monday, July 1, 2013

Profitable Relationships

Breaking up is hard to do.

You may disagree if you are looking at the current divorce rate, so humor me and think about your answer to this question:  How long have you stayed in a relationship after you knew it wasn’t working?

Hmmmm…and why do you stay in a bad relationship?

“It’s comfortable.”

Guilty? I am. I’ve stayed and tried to make relationships work way after my gut, head, and heart all were telling me to RUN! Sticking around hoping for the other person to change, the situation to change, the feelings to change. Change happens. But the change you are looking for usually doesn’t occur in well-established, comfortable relationships.

Comfortable is just another word for lazy. People are innately lazy, very lazy.

Now don’t go getting in a tizzy with me. Not all people are lazy. Successful people definitely wouldn’t be classified as lazy. They don’t stay in relationships that aren’t creating a profit for them. Yes, a profit.

Most people have a misconception about profit. You hear “profit” and you think money. I don’t. With a background in, and passion for non-profit, I tend to think differently about the concept of profits.

Profit defined:

profit |ˈpräfit|
1. a financial gain, esp. the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something.
2. advantage; benefit

Take a minute and focus on the second definition: advantage or benefit. Business relationships either produce a profit, or they don’t. And that profit is both financial and beneficial.

Let me break down the true profits of great business relationships:

Pleasure. Your business relationships should be a PIA: pleasure in action (not the other kind of PIA!). You should be experiencing pleasure while doing business together, not pain. It’s a happy, joyful exchange…most of the time.

Respect. A mutual respect for how each person and each company conducts business and it’s openly shown. Respect is two-fold; something you feel and something you demonstrate.

Open Communication. When things are going great and when things go wrong you communicate. Proactive and open communication is a relationship maker or breaker. You should be able to express your thoughts, issues, fears, hopes, dreams, passions, mistakes, and victories. And they should be able to with you.

Friendship. The best business relationships evolve into friendships. You genuinely like each other, want what’s best for each other, and enjoy working together.

Investment. There is a mutual investment in helping both parties achieve success. That investment could be time, energy, resources, people, ideas, or money. But on some level you are making a contribution to their success.

Treasure. You feel appreciated, wanted, needed and accepted as the treasure you are.

If you aren’t feeling the profit in your relationship, it may be time for you to initiate a breakup. EEK! Don’t fret; I’m not going to tell you to breakup without giving you a quick three-step how-to.

How to facilitate a business breakup:

1. Explain why you feel the relationship is no longer working. No blaming. No pointing fingers. No accusations. Deliver an honest account of your feelings.

2. Listen. Allow for a rebuttal, response, and excuses (hopefully no crying or worse, screaming!). Listen to their thoughts and feelings with an understanding that they could feel exactly the same or be caught off guard.

3. Propose the next step. Provide an action plan for how to dissolve your relationship properly. No hard feelings. No burning bridges. Develop a professional exit strategy to ensure both parties are content.

Relationships take work and effort by all involved. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Heed my advice: if it isn’t working – don’t stay hoping, wishing, and willing change! You create the change. Step up to a breakup. Because in business, only one type of relationship works: a profitable one.

I’m your Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista. How may I help you help yourself?

Stephanie Melish, one of the few, hand-selected, Gitomer-Certified Speakers is the ONLY Double-Tall, Non-Fat, No-Whip Sales Barista in the world! Stephanie trains, sells, and speaks to companies and associations all over the country. To book Stephanie for your next event, please visit or contact the Michelle at Buy Gitomer via email at or by calling 704-333-1112.


  1. This is a great article! Most salespeople seldom think about the business relationship being mutually beneficial for both parties. We are focusing on that mentality in our sales district right now. I think it is crucial that each entity receives value in a negotiation or else it will not be sustainable. We need to think long term, not short sale.

    1. 100% agree with you Steve.

    2. Thank you Steve - and Mike!

      Keep providing PROFIT!

    3. You are right Steve. It's got to be a win-win for everyone or we just end up spinning our wheels.

  2. If loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right. Or, cheese. Huh?

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