Over the past 4 or 5 years I have been doing a lot of introspection. One of the things I have realized about myself, and you may see this in you too, is that I have not done a very good job of maintaining or nurturing personal relationships, aside from my close family.

On the other hand, I have done a pretty remarkable job of maintaining business relationships. For example just last week I presented a webinar for the International Housewares Association, the webinar and their invitation for me to join their “Experts University” was the result of a relationship that has evolved from a speaking gig I did for them almost 7 years ago.

The International Housewares Association remembered me, and had a high professional opinion of me, in large part because I had added them to my e-mail list all those years ago. They have been consistently informed about me and the success of my success, etc. I have deliberately, diligently  and consistently communicated with them with the intention of maintaining “top of mind” awareness and building my reputation for being a knowledgeable, up-to-date and  a plain spoken Internet marketing expert.

Why has this business relationship blossomed into an amazing opportunity over the years and many interesting personal relationships have simply slipped away?

The obvious and quick answer is that I must value business relationships more than personal relationships, yet I know in my heart that is absolutely not true. I place a very high value on personal relationships and I’m saddened as I think of many I have let just dwindle away.

The reason for the nurturing of one and the loss of the other is simply SYSTEMS.  I put systems in place many years ago to stay in communication with “business contacts”. Simple systems, primarily communicating via e-mail, that were scheduled and easy to do.

I have no such systems for my “real” friends, I just call them every once in a while when I happen to think of them or when their name pops up on my calendar reminding me that their birthday has rolled around again.

My point is two-fold: Developing systems, e-mail, blog posts, social media, etc., to build and nurture relationships works incredibly well for business. Not having systems in place to maintain and deepen non-business relationships is regrettable.

Members can find additional resources to build business relationships at- http://imgmembers.com/e-mail-marketing/your-e-mail-strategy/