Proactively cultivating relationships is often an afterthought. We are just too busy trying to get through the workload directly in front of us. And, relationships are not what we DO in our businesses, right? Most firms are not in the “relationship business.” You are in the [INSERT your core offering] business. Simply spoken: We need sales, not more friends!
STOP RIGHT THERE!! Above is an excuse that we often create (myself included), subconsciously or consciously, for not finding the time to do one of the most important things directly affecting growth and profitability.
Intuitively we know that relationships are important, but let’s just focus on the logical. When you look back on your sales from last year, evaluate the “why” when thinking about your best clients and your biggest sales. Quantify the value of the referrals you received, the word of mouth, and repeat business. When you add it all up, you may notice that the way others “feel” about you is critically important. They certainly would not go out of their way to do business with you or talk about you with others just because of your product or service offering. There are probably many others who can do or provide the same offerings.
There’s often a direct correlation between the quality of your relationships with prospects and clients, and the rate of sales and growth in your business. The question is, what will you do about this in 2011? How about you reach out to 1 person each day above and beyond your regular work. It may just make the tipping point difference.
Debra Gaynor says
Great advice not only for women in business today, but for the younger generation coming up behind us. Relationship building should start as early as high school. People with whom I attended high school and college are now successful business leaders. I’m grateful that I found ways to stay in touch not only because they are good friends, but valuable business contacts as well.
Maribeth Kuzmeski says
I couldn’t agree more Debra!