How Soon Should You Expect Profitability from a Relationship?

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve written a few blogs on the VCP Process® of networking and, since I’ve already covered visibility and credibility in detail, today I’m going to tell you what you need to know about profitability, the third and final phase of the VCP Process.

The mature relationship, whether business or personal, can be defined in terms of its profitability. Is it mutually rewarding? Do both partners gain satisfaction from it? Does it maintain itself by providing benefits to both? If it doesn’t profit both partners to keep it going, it probably will not endure.

The best piece of advice I can give you in regard to when to expect to get to profitability is to be patient. The time it takes to pass through the phases of a developing relationship is highly variable.  It’s not always easy to determine when profitability has been achieved: A week? A month? A year? In a time of urgent need, you and a client may proceed from visibility to credibility overnight. The same is true of profitability; it may happen quickly or it may take years, but most likely it will be somewhere in between. It will depend on the frequency and quality of the contacts and especially on the desire of both parties to move the relationship forward.

Shortsightedness can impede the full development of the relationship. Perhaps you’re a customer who has done business with a certain vendor off and on for several months, but to save pennies you keep hunting around for the lowest price, ignoring the value this vendor provides in terms of service, hours, goodwill and reliability. Are you really profiting from the relationship, or are you stunting its growth?  Perhaps if you gave this vendor all your business, you could work out terms that would benefit both of you.  Profitability is not found by bargain hunting. It must be cultivated. And, like farming, it takes patience.

Visibility and credibility are important in the relationship-building stages of the referral-marketing process.  But when you have established an effective referral generation system, you will have entered the profitability stage of your relationships with many people–the people who send you referrals and the customers you recruit as a result. It’s an essential part of successful relationship marketing and networking.

5 thoughts on “How Soon Should You Expect Profitability from a Relationship?

  1. It has been my experience that this is a highly misunderstood topic. People often think that they have much higher credibility than they really do and often mistake credibility for profitability. Profitability is entered into slowly and must be maintained diligently.

  2. This is a very beneficial piece of advice to new and old BNI members as they settle in BNI. Its also very valuable to non BNI members as do business out there. I agree that all business people need to invest in patience and hard work.

  3. Cultivating relationships is one of lifes hidden joys. Finding ways to help people achieve their desired goals changes ones life from meaningless to meaningfull, and a full life is a happy one. It beats the endless search for material gain by a long way, but here is the bonus – In taking the time to build relationahip, one actually becomes richer in more ways than one

  4. When to move a business relationship into profitability must be customer centric focused. Your customer will determine when or when not to do business with you. If you have followed the VCP process, by adequately making your business visiable and credible to your customer, then your potential of developing a profitable business relationship is greatly improved.

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