Despite the economic importance of family businesses, across the global, such businesses still find marketing to be a challenge. Relationships are at the heart of family businesses. This is because the fundamental DNA of a family business is based on a symbiotic relationship between the family and the business. Families, by virtue of their DNA, cultivate deep relationships with people, which include customers, suppliers and even competitors. Hence, in a family business context, these values are transferred into the business by the associated family. This study investigates some of the characteristics of relationship marketing that exist in SA family businesses. The results from the family businesses surveyed, indicates that they cultivate deep relationship with customers. This characteristic enables these businesses to be highly proficient at both satisfying and retaining customers. However, despite a culture of customer centricity, further findings indicate that such businesses are less proficient regarding their orientation with competitors, as they are often slow to respond to competition, in the market place.