As we’re coming towards the end of another year, I’m in a reflective mood.

Less than 1 month remains in 2018. Currently I’m biased. I think 2019 looks ugly. I’ve never been big on “9’s”. I need to work on that.

If you don’t like my reflective posts, I understand.

Some people come here to read about Chinese suppliers, quoting, etc…

I said some because I don’t think anyone reads my blog. Be that as it may…

I’m leaning away from only blogging about China’s suppliers and my sourcing thoughts.

It’s still a part of my professional life.

But only a part.

I’m multi-faceted as I’m sure you are.

I don’t only think about China RFQ’s but I like the Andy Griffith show, I’m religious, a family man and love to read.

I’m going to start pouring it out brother.

That may cause my 14 audience members to leave. That’s fine. At least I’ll get to refine my writing skills. Or embarrass myself more. Or get more use out of this blog. **crickets chirp as I type…

But back to the topic…relationships.

Are relationships a dime a dozen?

Are we so social-media-ized, text-based that relationships are a cheap as a click?

As time and technology advance have relationships been regulated to more or less a commodity?

To some, the relationship means as much as text on a screen

Whatever effort it takes to add a connection is the effort poured into a relationship.

Nowadays, we meet people, we trade chitchat and safe banter, but there’s no real discussion.

Non-confrontationalism is the rule of the day.

“Don’t dig too deep on me and I won’t attempt to peel back the onion on you. Let’s both stay in a safe area”.

Everyone is afraid of everyone else.

“Fear of offending or being offended” is the golden calf our times that we exalt.

This stops everyone from asking tough questions.

It impedes others from trying to help others.

From a business standpoint it seems relationships are even cheaper.

In a sense, China sourcing is like a microcosm of society.

From my years of China sourcing, I see relationships, inside of this paradigm, as more and more fragile.

Technology blossoms and the prevailing view amongst many companies, importers and would-be-buyers is “I can always find another supplier”.

Suppliers constantly spam buyers with emails, LinkedIn pitches, name it…everything cheapens.

Buyers are not blameless either. Because of Alibaba they are able to get multiple companies jumping around chasing the same coin. It doesn’t matter, right? It’s all faceless potential vendors anyway, right?

It’s just noise.

But no hopes of solidifying a project via a relationship.

It’s based more so on who answers the fastest with the cheapest price.

Wow, that sounds long term…🙃

That’s one of the reasons we’ve pivoted to our own private labels. I thought, “who can I cut out?” How about the buyer…

I want to do better in my own relationship management, will you join me?

Quality should be what we shoot for. 

Sometimes you got to build numbers to weed out the quality.

Don’t let numbers and brief encounters make you feel like you’ve laid actual relational foundations.

 It May Require Effort.  It takes work to build true relationships.

You have to be responsible. Understanding empathy and the feelings of humankind come into play.

Let people know you value them. This goes a long way. We all like this.

Doesn’t it feel good when someone tells you how much they appreciate you? When you know you’ve made an impact?

Well, if you and I like when folks tell us this, how about we start to tell others that?

Show up, be seen, make yourself available. How valuable are you in a relationship if others cannot count on you?

Availability is a big component of a solid connection.

When they contact, you respond.

When they need you, you’re there.

You’re there before they even know they need you.

Count the cost. Solid relationships grow when people are willing.

Too often we run into relationships, sorta hot and heavy, and then realize we didn’t want to take that far. We leave the other party on the hook.

Don’t build yourself up and sell yourself to then never be around. What was the point?

What we’re doing causes others to spend time. Others count on us.

If we leave them on the hook and even set ’em up to fall, it’s really hard to call that honorable.

Or professional.

Or loving.

A true solid relationship; business, familial, romantic seems to be a rare jewel this day and age.