They take your call. They golf with you. Dinner happens at least once a quarter. You have a badge to headquarters. They give you a chance to bid on most deals, especially the small ones. The customer likes you and that’s why they do business with you.
They call and ask you what you think. They don’t move forward on big investments without getting your input. They don’t just ask you to bid on deals, they ask you to help write the RFP. They see you as part of the organization; a key holder of information. They consult with you. The customer respects your knowledge and expertise and that’s why they do business with you.
The first relationships is about who you are. The second relationships is about what you can do.
Which relationship do you have?