One of the things that in my over 36 years being in the training and consulting business when I'm working with business development professionals, I always want to ask people:
“What's the basis of your success so far in your career?”
And the most common answer, I'm not telling you it's 50%,, but the most common answer people say is “oh, I'm a relationship guy.” “I'm a relationship woman.” “I build great relationships.” “That's the secret to my success.” And I've always wondered what that really meant. So I've asked people, “what do you mean? How do you make that happen?” I'm sad to say that most people don't really have a clue about what it is that they
do that really makes great relationships. So if you're one of those people, I just want to give you a hint… figure out what it is and make sure you really know how you do it, so that you can do it on demand when you have to. And I want to go back to the topic of relationships in general. I've worked with a lot of companies in a lot of different places all around the country.
A lot of the companies that I've worked with love hiring people that have industry experience and the hiring company believes they're going to come and join them and bring their relationships with them and that will guarantee that they're going to be successful at their new place of employment. I'd say that doesn't happen as often as people would like to think that it does. There are people that are great at building relationships. They make friends with a lot of people. They make friends with the lowest person at the company all the way up to the CEO. And people know them and like them and enjoy their company when they stop in. But there's really this peculiar anomaly that sets some people who are really good at relationships apart from most of the people who think they're good at relationships. And that is these people do not generate consistent results unless consistency is not real high.
I have met so many people in my career that have lots of relationships… They just don't have a lot of business development success, so they're welcome in the building. They're welcome to stop by and talk about what they may or may not be selling. They may want to talk about what they know about the industry or trends that they see at other places, but what they really don't get to talk about is cashing a check because they made a sale. Some of these people think the relationships mean “they know what I do. They know what I sell. They'll buy it when they need it and they'll come to me.”
Some of these people think “I don't even have to ask because I have these great relationships.” Well, the funny thing is they never get asked enough and they don't understand why. And they're too terrified to ask why because it will disrupt the relationship. So there are a lot of people that are sleeping in the bed of a relationship, but they're not really benefiting from the rest. They think they're going to get relying on that situation.
So what I always want people to remember is a relationship means we trust and respecteach other. And that trust and respect means I'm allowed to ask you if this is a good business opportunity and you're just as allowed as I am to tell me, yes it is, no it's not, or maybe it isn'tnow, and that I should trust and believe that your answer is the honest answer, not an answer that you're giving to someone because they're a salesperson.
So I want to re-emphasize. Make sure you do build good relationships in the business. I wouldn't be sitting here 36 years in without having some awesome relationships. But don't overvalue those relationships. Don't think they entitle you to things that really aren't there. And don't ever think that because you have a relationship, you're not allowed to disagree or challenge people when they tell you yes, no, or something else. Relationships mean I honor and respect your perspective, even if it's different than mine and it doesn't necessarily mean I get all your business or you have to buy everything from me. A relationship means we trust each other to tell each other the truth. Make that the foundation of your business relationships and those relationships will be plentiful for you throughout your entire career. Thanks again for watching and listening. I wish you all the best. Have a great weekend. Take care.