Building better business relationships is a hot topic. You can spend lots of time reading blog posts and listening to podcast episodes about it. But rather than spend all that time trying to find good advice and perspectives, you’d be better off listening to somebody who does it well. One of the people that come to my mind right away is Evan Baehr. In this conversation I ask Evan some pretty straightforward questions about why he sees relationships as one of the best assets he has in business and how he goes about establishing, nurturing, and extending those relationships in ways that not only benefit him and his company but also the person on the other end.

In the end, relationships may be the only place where I can truly meet a need.

Every business leader is talking about the importance of meeting client or customer needs. No doubt, it’s an important concept to get your head around. But something that’s not said often enough is that the needs your business meets affect real people. The better your relationship with the real people behind the needs, the better your ability to meet those needs in a meaningful way. Evan Baehr makes that point in this episode of Real Relationships by saying, “In the end, relationships may be the only place where I can truly meet a need.” Find out more about what he means by that statement, on this episode.

The benefit of relationships when it comes to finding the right new team member.

Most companies hit the point where key team members need to be added to the team to fill critical roles within the organization. The typical way to go about finding those people is pretty artificial – scouring LinkedIn for recommendations, receiving resumes, conducting interviews – and while all of those are acceptable parts of the process none of them make the most of the business relationships you have already established. On this episode, Evan Baehr describes how his search and hiring process has benefitted from tapping into the great relationships he has established. This is a key insight you’re not likely to hear anyplace else.

Forget about your normal corporate thank you gifts. Stand out by being thoughtful.

The idea of giving a gift or card to a customer is nothing new. It’s been happening for years. But doing it in a way that makes you stand out, that shows you care – that’s an art form that few companies seem to have perfected. If you want to make a meaningful impact on your business clients to build a stronger relationship you need to forget about the coffee mug with your company logo on it. Think intimate. Think thoughtful. On this episode, Evan Baehr gives a couple of great examples of things he’s done to make an impact on customers through thoughtful thank you gifts. You can take his examples as fuel for the kind of thought and genuine care you need to put into the consideration of thank you gifts.

If you’re a founder looking to raise money as your first priority, you’ve got it all wrong.

When I asked Evan Baehr for his best piece of relational advice for those who are starting a company he pointed out that most founders are in the room because they are looking for people to fund their project. Though he sees that as important he also thinks it’s getting the cart before the horse. If you want to be successful at funding your startup you first need to be raising friends, not money. Listen in as Evan describes what it means to put relationships first, on this episode of Real Relationships.

Outline of this great episode

  • [0:30] My introduction of Evan Baehr, co-founder of Able Lending.
  • [1:58] What was it about the Able Lending idea that caught Evan’s attention?
  • [4:21] Why relationships are such a critical part of Evan’s business.
  • [8:55] How Evan learned to build quality relationships.
  • [15:00] The power of thoughtful, personal thank-you gifts.
  • [17:16] What’s the most obvious but non-covered part of building relationships?
  • [19:40] Evan’s habits for building relationships with clients and customers.
  • [23:44] One connection that made a huge impact on Evan’s life.
  • [25:02] The one thing Evan asks of you as a listener.
  • [25:20] Evan’s one piece of advice for you: get vulnerable to raise friends first.

Resources & Links mentioned in this episode