Proactively cultivating relationships is often an afterthought. But with all the talk about how important relationships are – why don’t we spend more time focusing in this area? The fact is that we often are just too busy trying to get through the work of the day. And, relationships are not what we DO in our businesses, right? Most firms are not in the “relationship business,” we are in the [INSERT your core offering] business.
Intuitively we know that relationships are important, but let’s focus on the quantitative reality. When you look back on your previous sales, try affixing a reason that you acquired your best clients and your biggest sales. When you evaluate your business in this way, 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 simply because of your product or service offering. There are likely many others who can do or provide the same core offerings.
Next, think about quantifying in dollars the value of the referrals, the word of mouth, and the repeat business you’ve received – what would the number be? Combine this with the “why did they choose me” factor mentioned above and it becomes pretty compelling.
Almost always, there is a very direct correlation between the quality of your relationships with prospects and clients, and the rate of sales and growth in your business. But, are these facts important enough to you to make the change and raise the priority of being more proactive in your business relationships?
Consider making it your challenge. Reach out to one person each day above and beyond your regular day’s interactions - a proactive contact with a client, prospect or a potential strategic alliance. Just one. You may find it can make a significant difference in both how you feel and even more importantly how others feel about you.