Recently, whilst in the shower – my place where I allow my thoughts to wonder around – my mind started contemplating what I learnt from my past relationships, and what is needed for a relationship to work in the long term. I myself went through couple of long term relationships one of which was a marriage, and three years of being single again. These past three years have quite changed my view on relationships.

I’m not going to give you any relationship advice though, I’m not an expert on that subject, not to mention I’m not sure some if my current opinions would be taken well by the majority of the population… lol Let’s just say that I’m reviewing what we were told relationships are and how they work, and what my actual experience is. 😉

But one interesting result of my thinking time was seeing now clearly the journey we need to go through in a relationship, with the steps that we need to pass to reach a good long-term result; and how it is pretty much identical to the journey we take with our potential clients when building business relationships. Have a look:

Romantic relationship journey

1. THE SURFACE – Look & Chemistry

        Love at first sight is just step one. We love what we see. There can be hundreds of people in the room, but just that one guy/girl catches our attention. It is followed by chemistry, the excitement when our eyes meet, closeness, touch… The enthusiasm can die pretty quickly though, if the other person does or says something what makes us roll our eyes and walk away.

2. THE MIDDLE GROUND – Friendship & Communication

        If the chemistry does work wonders, the relationship will still go nowhere if we don’t find a true friend in the other person. It is essential to be able to have long conversations, truly understand the other person, and communicate our feelings and thoughts. Just then we decide to go for it all and see if it will work even if life gets less exciting and the chemistry starts wearing off. We need to have a strong connection, be able to laugh and share a common direction.

3. THE DEPTHS – Past & Cultural Differences

      When we are young it’s immaturity what causes the trouble. When we are older it’s the past we carry with us. And then there are cultural and religious backgrounds. Oh, yes, let’s not forget the random ‘what life brings’ thing… These all are true tests that show our real self. And with all that we still need to be able to keep the shared common direction.

Have you made it through all 3 stages and are still deeply in love? If so – well done!! You have my admiration. Any advice? 😉

Customer journey

1. THE SURFACE – Brand Awareness

        At first it’s the look, something we see, that catches our attention – the logo, the website, the product… Out of the hundreds of others it’s this one we like, we connect with, we want… We get excited, want to know more… We take a closer look, which might disappoint us or make us to fall in love…

2. THE MIDDLE GROUND – Facts Match & Test Drive

        The awareness and attraction might be all well but it will go nowhere, if we don’t find the benefits we actually need. The brand, the product or service must understand our needs, our feelings, address our challenges. Only then do we go and try it to see, if it feels the right way and delivers the promises we read or heard about it so far.

3. THE DEPTHS – Delivery & Loyalty

      Then we receive the product or service. Was it delivered on time? Have we received what was promised? Is the customer service friendly? Are our questions answered or problems solved promptly? ‘Things’ happen all the time. It doesn’t have to be perfect, nothing really is, but it’s how the challenges are dealt with that creates loyal clients or destroys the relationship forever.

Do you see the pattern? Try to switch the titles and you will see how the content can be applied to the other relationship too. Lots to learn there!

One more thing to think about – to make the relationships work, we need all three stages to be in place. Without brand awareness, the business will slowly die as there won’t be enough of potential clients to buy in. We can be great friends with that fantastic guy/girl, but without chemistry the relationship will hardly become a romantic one. If we can’t make our clients loyal, we’ll have issues with profitability as we will have to constantly keep chasing tons of new potentials. If there is no clear communication about… everything actually, insecurity will grow, trust will disappear, and eventually the relationship will die. I could go on and on…

The main point is that all kinds of relationships – romantic, business, friendships or any other – are simply RELATIONSHIPS. They have the same rules, patterns and journeys. We should think about them the same way – if we treat our business relationships more like romantic ones, and romantic relationships more like business ones, it would make our lives much healthier, easier, richer and so much more exciting. Don’t you think? 😉

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