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Relationship First:

The Secret to Successful Hospitality Partnerships

By Bill Caraway
Regional Director of Pennsylvania Hospitality Sales
The Hamister Group, Inc.
March 19, 2012

Before reading this, I hope you are having a good day, and I wish you success in all that you do. 

The secret to maintaining successful business and personal relationships is to find out why these types of relationships typically fail in the first place.  For example, if you go to, you can look at the top 10 reasons as to why marriages fail: the top 2 of which are identified as a lack of two-way communication whether it involves financial issues or general communication problems. Similarly, in business, one of the top reasons for failed relationships with clients is poor communication.  The issue of communication probably also ranks number one when talking about a manager’s failure to get the best out of their co-workers and awful employee retention rates.

There are thousands of articles online regarding the success and failure of business and personal relationships.  While these two types of relationships may differ in nature, the theme of communicating well to maintain relationships reigns supreme.  When struggling with some issues in my personal and professional life, I went to a counseling session with a pastor.  We discussed marital issues and problems I perceived in the work place dealing with people and situations.  His first comment was “relationships first” – I stopped for a minute to figure out what that actually meant.  Then the following items hit me, and they all involve good communication:

  1. Regarding the people in your personal life:  when you come home or see your family members for the first time in a day, do you immediately complain or tell them to do something, or do you greet them with a “Hello,” “I love you,” or “What’s going on at work or school today?”
  2. Like family, when interacting with coworkers – even if there is an issue – start with “Good Morning,” or “Hope all is Well,” or another saying to put the relationship first.  Do the same thing when writing an email or making a phone call too.  In person, sometimes you can ask how they, or their family, are doing.  A compliment up front about someone can go a long way in helping to maintain a relationship.
  3. What about your customers and prospects?  People do business with people they like: guess what that is – a relationship! Creating relationships starts with finding common ground and building rapport during the initial contact, and it grows from there.  Even after business is secured, it’s the relationship that keeps the business steady, helps the business grow, and even brings on new referrals.  A simple greeting such as “Good Morning,” or “Good Afternoon,” or “Hi – I saw your son/daughter at the store the other day” can start a conversation with a focus on the relationship.

It doesn’t take an expert to write these tips, nor to live them. Did you notice the first line of this article?  Yes – it truly is relationship first!

About the Author:
Bill Caraway is the Regional Director of Pennsylvania Hospitality Sales of The Hamister Group, Inc., a nationally-expanding hotel and healthcare management company based in Williamsville, NY. The company’s hotel portfolio includes Holiday Inn Express Cranberry PA, Hampton Inn Cranberry PA, Residence Inn Cranberry PA, Hampton Inn Pittsburgh Airport PA, Hampton Inn Pittsburgh Greentree PA, MainStay Suites Knoxville TN, Fairfield Inn & Suites Smyrna TN, Sleep Inn & Suites Smyrna TN, Sleep Inn & Suites Lebanon TN, and Sleep Inn & Suites Louisville KY. Feedback can be sent to Bill at For more information on The Hamister Group, Inc., please visit the organization's website at

Bill Caraway
Regional Director of Pennsylvania Hospitality Sales
The Hamister Group, Inc.

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