“It’s all about relationships.”
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time at all, by now you know how much I believe that relationships can make or break business success.
Relationships among people develop through a know, like and trust process. Not much different from this picture of two friends.....
I recall reading a book written by Keith Ferrazzi called Never Eat Alone. I must admit, I don’t mind eating alone. But I liked what he had to say about extending your ever-widening community of interconnections. He states that "business is human - relationships power growth."
He points out that the reason some people find networking distasteful is the way unskilled networkers go about it, making it always all about getting something. Instead, Ferrazzi promotes using a framework of generosity--Help your friends connect to other friends, and everyone wins – Julie and I call it a triple win, actually. It’s good for our business client, for his or her customer, and for us as well. This is true whether your medium is face to face, handwritten notes, phone calls, emails, or online social media.
Ferrazzi gives two tips to the best kind of relationship building.
1. “Don’t keep score.”
The crassness of “what’s in it for me” turns everyone off. Trust that if you make the other person’s best interests your interest, the results will be good for all somewhere down the road, perhaps around a blind corner. Then let it go.
2. “ ‘Ping’ constantly.”
Continually reach out, not just when you need something. People are people first, prospects or customers second. Notice when their name – or their child’s-- appears in the paper. Send birthday cards. Ask their advice. Read their blogs and post comments. Pass on an article or link related to a shared interest, whether that’s financial investments, raising golden retrievers or travel destinations. Refer business to them. Hook them up with potential resources for solving a problem.
That last paragraph contains the key, really: People are people first, prospects or customers second. You’ll be well on your way to business success – and personal! – if you treat everyone as people first.
Your CRM philosophy and system exist to help you manage your relationships. It can give you a place to store – and a means to retrieve – all the information you gather that gives insight into the three-dimensional nature of your contacts. And it can ping you to ping someone else at just the right time. Using a tool like Sage ACT! doesn’t make you any less sincere—what it makes you is more reliable at holding up your side of the relationship.
*I found the cat in the photo (Boo Boo Kitty) as an abandoned kitten near our country home and it was adopted by friends of ours. Now it enjoys its relationships with humans and other animals.
So as you visit and become "re-acquainted" with your family and friends over the holidays remember these 4 words to live by, "It's all about Relationships".
Listen. Engage. Enjoy each other. Have some Fun!