Posted on 3/9/2016

3 Keys to Building Profitable Business Relationships

Ed Potoczak

All successful relationships in business (and in life) are based on these three foundational principles:

  1. Clarity: simple accuracy and understanding of needs, requests and commitments
  2. Trust: expectation of integrity and sincere effort to keep commitments
  3. Respect: value, large or small, placed on a person or organization

Sound too simple? When all three of these elements are a part of our leadership style, policies, procedures, emails, phone calls, meetings, sales, purchasing and daily processes, the people who matter to your success as a person and a company want to be a part of your team.

When any of these pillars are weak or missing, time is wasted, frustration grows, negativity blooms, costs creep up, and opportunities are lost.

Think of the last time when one of these were out of whack when you were involved in a purchase, a call for service, a software help inquiry, or a meeting with your supervisor or a colleague. How did you feel? Short changed, taken advantage of, unappreciated? What was you verbal or mental reaction?

Now, think about the people and organizations that you deal with who “get it.” Do you want to go out of your way to return the value shown to you? I’ll bet you even tell others about how the person or company is good to work with, strives to over-deliver and values you as a customer, supplier or colleague. As a result, you trust and respect them, too.

These essential elements are critical to the success of how your company acquires talented employees, sells, engineers, buys, tools, launches and produces. Conduct your business with these key principles in mind and you will prosper and likely grow in your market. 

Your employees and suppliers will be engaged, productive, and contribute above and beyond the call of duty.

Simple, right? So, how is it a daily struggle to do the right things to build strong relationships in business? We are all busy and it's easy to let our processes unravel a bit over time as we work to complete the immediate tasks before us.

Even though the busyness of business can be distracting, it is a worthwhile investment of time, money and effort to intentionally bake Clarity, Trust and Respect into your company's DNA. Leaders often find it easiest to focus on clarity in their operations, but its value is multiplied by purposely building trust backed by respect. 

When all three values are what you are known for, it is easier to recruit and develop talent in your company, win new customers and keep the ones you want and build a stable and supportive supply chain.

About the Author

Ed Potoczak | IQMS

Ed Potoczak, IQMS Industry Manager, has more than 30 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. Formerly an ERP (enterprise resource planning) consultant at the Oakstone Group and Plante Moran, Ed has also held positions as a senior systems engineer for Chrysler, technical sales leader in parts suppliers and general manager for a process equipment builder. For over 25 years, IQMS Manufacturing ERP software has delivered productivity gains to manufacturers. Visit


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