By Rashad Phillips
The old saying is “It isn’t what you know, but who you know”. But, as we move through 2012 and beyond, the new saying will become “It’s what you know and who you know”. Why? Because in this new economic environment, the average American doesn’t have access to the cash or credit that was available ten years ago, so we must find a new source of funds. In 2012, Relationships are the “New Money”.
One of the important functions of money is that it’s a medium of exchange, which means we use money to trade for goods and services. Since we don’t have the available cash or credit to exchange, many of us will be forced to consider bartering for goods and/or services in place of using cash. It’s very important to understand that bartering is based on trust.
Last year, I bartered with Carlos, my mechanic, when purchasing a car. Instead of selling my car to Carlos, I decided to barter with Carlos for his auto repair services in exchange for my old car. This entire barter transaction was based on trust. Carlos was certain that I wouldn’t sell my old car to another person and I was certain that Carlos would properly repair all issues on the new car purchase. This barter deal saved me nearly $5,000.
In conversation with local small business owners, I learned that some business owners are accepting payment plans from some of their long-term clients. The business owners told me that, due to the economic recession they had to be flexible and make special arrangements for some of their clients. All of the business owners made it very clear that they wouldn’t offer these special payment arrangements to all of their clients, just the clients who have established a long-term business relationship.
Business owners value long-term relationships and will do what is required to maintain valuable relationships. The local business owners’ new way of thinking proves that Relationships are the New Money.
Now that you understand that Relationships are the New Money, you must develop relationships before you need to use the benefits of those relationships. Below, are some steps you can take to help you develop new relationships:
- Start Networking! Join groups, organizations, and “Meetups” to interact with new people.
- Once you meet new people, take time to get to know them. Learn about their interests.
- Be willing to share your knowledge or skill with others.
- Be Loyal! Once you start a business relationship, it’s not wise to jump from person to person.
- Give it time! Relationships don’t develop overnight, they take time to form.